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Health sector to develop migration policy

Rotational Nurses

Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health, says his ministry is collaborating with the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry to develop a policy to address present and future migration issues in the health sector.

The Migration Policy, when finished, would tighten procedures for training, deployment, retention, and reintegration of Ghana’s health workforce to meet local and global demands.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu stated at the Minister’s Press Briefing in Accra on Wednesday that the migration policy would be used within local and international frameworks for health workforce deployment and reintegration.

It is also expected to ensure financial and ‘brain gain’ from the overseas deployment of health professionals through beneficial bilateral agreements.

The health minister said the policy was driven by the current health sector migration, a global issue that is not unique to Ghana and has remained a serious challenge affecting the retention of health workers.

Despite the challenges of the health sector, he stated that the ministry has taken steps to improve the training, recruitment and retention of healthcare workers in keeping with the government’s priorities for the health sector.

“Between 2019 and 2022, a total of 17,566 nurses comprising certificate, diploma and degree nurses were trained in about 90 Nursing and Midwifery Training Institutions in the country,” he said.

He said the ministry has employed and deployed I52,472 health professionals, most of whom were nurses in the same period.

Mr. Agyeman- Manu said the government was collaborating with a private sector investor is working to establish a Bio Equivalent Center in the country. The project is expected to be commissioned by the end of October.

“With the center, we can do all trials for medicines made in Ghana and other medications manufactured and produced elsewhere for us in our hospitals,” he said.

Commenting on the achievements of the Health Ministry, Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was performing better, with an enrollment of 17.2 million annual active members representing 54 point five per cent coverage of the population as against the target of 57 per cent at the end of 2022.

He said the NHIA’s target for 2023 is to increase the enrolment to 20 million.
The health minister said presently, all NHIS service providers have been trained in electronic claims submission.

“Currently, 90 per cent of providers submit claims electronically as against 40 per cent in 2022. This has significantly improved claims management resulting in GHS 97,618,036.24 of claims adjustment during vetting. Also, the turnaround time for claims vetting has been reduced from 76 days to 48 days,” he said.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the NHIIS has included family planning and four childhood cancers in the benefit package, and the medicines and service list has also been updated with 12 oncology medications.

He said the ministry is providing about 12 health sector legislations to promote the health and well-being of the people.

The legislations include the Health Security Bill, 2023, traditional and Alternative Medicine Bill, 2023, Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, 2023, Ghana Red Cross Society Bill, 2023, Mental Health (amendment) regulations, 2023, Communicable Diseases Regulations, 2022.

The rest are Quarantine Regulations, 2022, Vector Control Regulations, 2022, National Health Insurance Authority Regulations, 2023, Allied Health Professions Council Regulations, 2023, the National Ambulance Service Regulations, 2023 and the Vaccination Regulations, 2022.

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