COVID-19 said to be new driver of “brain drain” in Ghana’s health sector

Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, has described COVID-19 as the new driver of employee attrition in the health sector in developed countries.

He has, therefore, appealed to the World Bank to assist the Government to provide better incentives and improve conditions of service of health workers to motivate them to stay and help sustain gains made.

“As a result of the burn out, other countries are beginning to open their doors and recruit actively our experienced staff and so this is something we have to collectively take action against,” he said.

Dr Ampomah made the remarks when a World Bank delegation led by the Regional Vice President for Western and Central Africa, Mr Ousmane Diagana, inspected a World Bank funded 80 bed Infectious Disease and Treatment Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The team was welcomed by the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu.

The GH₵29 million facility, when completed by the end of February this year, will serve as a training and research centre to provide specialised and general health care services to persons suffering from infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and Tuberculosis.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the $430 million funding from the World Bank was crucial to Ghana being identified as one of two countries that had its COVID-19 response right, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) assessment.

The government, he said, had so far invested in the procuring of ultra-low temperature storage infrastructure to store vaccines while some 12 health facilities had been selected for the setting up of infectious disease centres.

“We have also used World Bank money to procure 20,000 wheelchairs and we have distributed 10,000 of them to society of disabled persons in Ghana and the rest to various facilities,” he said.

The Fund, he said, was also used to procure all the J&J vaccines, which had helped boost vaccine stock to about 10 million doses with 16 million already administered.

“We have some quite a sizable number for first dose, and we have some 4.5 million second dose finished fully and we now getting into booster system,” he said

Mr Diagana who also visited a vaccination centre at the Hospital expressed satisfaction at the commitment level of Government on implementation of strategies for the health sector.

“Ghana is actually a hub for health in the sub region and we need to continue to provide all the support that Ghana needs to ensure population within the country and sub region have access to quality timely services,” he said.

The delegation also inspected the Ghana Tech Lab and the Ghana Innovation Hub at the Accra Digital Centre, which was funded by the World Bank under the eTranform Ghana Project.

The COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project was approved on April 20, 2022, with a $35 million initial commitment from the World Bank.

It made additional financing of $130 million and $200 on November 10 and June 10 respectively the same year.

Source: GNA

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