Ghana is currently, seeing an increase in the migration of professional nurses to high-income countries due to the global shortage of nurses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare said the trend was quiet worrying as it amounts to a massive public subsidy to the wealthier nations given the fact that nursing education in Ghana is publicly financed.
Mr Nsiah-Asare, who was speaking at the launch of this year’s International Nurses Day, said IF the current trend was not checked , it could worsen the nurse-to-patient ratio and stall Ghana’s ability to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
He encouraged nurses to stay and contribute to the development on the nation’s health sector saying, “I know many of you nurses yearn for greener pastures beyond the shores of Ghana, but bear in mind that Ghanaians are looking up to you to maintain their health,”.
Dr Nsiah- Asare assured the nurses that the Government remained committed to support their hard work and boost their human capital by investing in their training.
He urged the Ministry of health and its agencies to put in place mechanisms and structures that would enable nurses to fully realise their potentials in contributing to the transformation of the health system.
That, he said, was critical to ensure that health policies met the real needs of the people.
The Presidential advisor asked nurses to position themselves as change in the development of their professional practice.
Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, President of the Ghana Registered Nurses, and Midwives Association (GRNMA), said the COVID-19 pandemic had proven the invaluable and significant contributions nurses and midwives made to the health sector worldwide.
She urged nurses to be proud of their profession and continue to serve humanity in a unique way by saving lives, improving, protecting, and promoting the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
The International Nursing Day is celebrated on May 12 every year on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the pioneer of modern nursing.
It is a day to honor nurses who have continuously contributed to saving lives and providing quality care for patients while highlighting the need to protect, support and invest in the nursing profession for improved healthcare system.
The theme for this year’s celebration is, “Nurses: A voice to lead-Invest in Nursing and protect Nurses Rights
Madam Tracy Asamoah, a Mental Health Nurse at the Kaneshie Polyclinic, who shared her experience with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said although she enjoyed her work, she hoped that it will get to a point where patients would appreciate the role nurses play in their lives.
She said nurses did not have enough logistics to work with and hoped that the Government would provide them with what they needed.