Nurse recruitment crisis: Ghana’s health system suffers as UK beckons

A growing number of nurses are leaving international locations like Ghana to work in high-income nations, leading to considerations a couple of “brain-drain” and its impression on healthcare systems in poorer international locations. In 2022, over 1,200 Ghanaian nurses joined the UK’s nursing register, because the National Health Service (NHS) more and more is dependent upon workers from non-EU countries to fill vacancies. Howard Catton, from the International Council of Nurses, expressed concern in regards to the situation, stating, “We have intense recruitment happening primarily driven by six or seven high-income international locations however with recruitment from international locations that are a few of the weakest and most weak which might ill-afford to lose their nurses.”
Ghana’s well being system is struggling because of the loss of specialist nurses who search better-paid jobs overseas. Gifty Aryee, head of nursing at Greater Accra Regional Hospital, revealed that her Intensive Care Unit alone had misplaced 20 nurses to the UK and US within the final six months, with extreme consequences. “Care is affected as we aren’t able to take any more sufferers. There are Authority and it prices more in mortality – patients die,” she said.
Similarly, at Cape Coast Municipal Hospital, deputy head of nursing services Caroline Agbodza shared that 22 nurses had left for the UK prior to now year. “All our critical care nurses, our skilled nurses, have gone. So we end up having nothing – no experienced workers to work with. Even if the government recruits, we now have to go through the pain of coaching nurses again.”
Smaller clinics are also feeling the impression of employees migration. Dr Justice Arthur, the chief physician at Ewim Health Clinic in Cape Coast, explained the far-reaching results of shedding even a single nurse. “Let’s take companies like immunisation of children. If we lose public well being nurses, then the infants that need to be immunised will not get their immunisation, and we’re going to have babies die,” he told the BBC.
Many Ghanaian nurses are motivated by the prospect of incomes significantly extra in countries just like the UK. Mercy Asare Afriyie, a nurse at Kwaso healthcare centre near Kumasi, stated, “The exodus of nurses just isn’t going to stop due to our poor situations of service. Our wage is nothing to write residence about and in two weeks you spend it. It’s from hand to mouth.” Nurses within the UK can earn greater than seven instances what they receive in Ghana.
Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo from Ghana’s Nurses and Midwives Association known as for extra support for the country’s healthcare system. “If you have a look at the numbers, then it is not moral for the UK to recruit from Ghana because the numbers of professional nurses in comparability with trainee or auxiliary nurses is an issue for us,” she said. However, she acknowledged that migration is a proper and that the Ghanaian authorities must do extra to encourage nurses to remain.
Ghana is one of fifty five susceptible international locations on the World Health Organization’s record with low numbers of nurses per head of population. The UK government lately supplied £15m (US$18.6m) to Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya to help strengthen their healthcare workforces. However, the UK can additionally be considering a formal deal with Ghana, just like an present agreement with Nepal, allowing extra proactive recruitment in trade for a sum of money per nurse..

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