The recent increase in the exodus of nurses can be partly attributed to the bleakness of their future in Ghana, according to Dr. David Tenkorang-Twum.
The General Secretary of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), has said, among other reason that, what senior nurses and midwives have achieved after rendering their services to the nation for considerable number of years, is nothing to write home about. He noted that it is for this reason that they have resorted to seeking greener pastures abroad.
“They don’t see a future in Ghana by practicing as a nurse, a midwife, they don’t see it. If I have practiced for 22 years and I have nothing to show for, what will motivate somebody to look up to me to stay?” he asked Alfred Ocansey Monday, July 10, 2023, on TV3’s Ghana Tonight.
He added that, the Association was fortunate to have benefitted from specialist training for members from 2011, whose salary levels were renegotiated.
Dr. Tenkorang-Twum explained that, the salaries of those at the highest level in the profession were pegged at an amount on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) which was not encouraging.
“…2020 when the Director General of Health Service wrote to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, they attached the salary levels of these nurses and midwives and these are the highest level of training of nurses and midwives –the specialists,” he narrated.
Though he did not disclose in monetary terms, how much these senior nurses and midwives earn according to their level on the SSSS, Dr. Tenkorang-Twum averred that, “what concerns me most is the young ones. They are the ones who are not seeing the future of this profession.”
In a March 23, 2023 publication by the UK government on its National Health Service employer’s website, it revised the code of practice for international recruitment of health and social care personnel.
The UK government says the move was to promote the retention of such ‘critical’ workers in their respective countries to help achieve universal health coverage (UHC).
“The countries listed have a UHC Service Coverage Index that is lower than 50 and a density of doctors, nurses and midwives that is below the global median (48.6 per 10,000 population),” the statement by the UK government said.
He says from January 10, 2023 to July 7 this year, 3,256 nurses and midwives have sought clearance to leave the country.
“When we started our clearance, from January 21, 2022 to January 10, 2023, 6,953 people sought clearance from the GRNMA’s end, making up over 10,000 nurses seeking clearance to leave the country, excluding others who left without a clearance or passed through the due process,” he disclosed.
He has advised government to provide the needs of nurses and midwives to avert the brain drain and its impact on healthcare delivery in the country.