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Fix healthcare system to retain nurses in Ghana – GRNMA

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Samuel Alagkora Akolgo

The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has called on policy makers in the healthcare system to retool health facilities across the country and properly motivate its members to stay and work in Ghana.

The Association noted that some of the health facilities were in deplorable states, “Go into our health facilities and you will see how appalling they are, yet governments continue to build health infrastructure.”

Mr Samuel Alagkora Akolgo, the First Vice President of the GRNMA, made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the side-line of the Upper East Regional launch of the International Nurses Day celebration in Navrongo, in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.

The remarks were in response to an appeal by Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, the Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for nurses and midwives to stay, and not leave the Region and country.

Mr Akolgo said even with the existing infrastructure, the level of maintenance, obsolete equipment and in some facilities, the lack of basic equipment coupled with poor conditions of service frustrated and pushed members of the Association to leave for greener pastures.

“The equipment is not available, but if patients come, they are looking up to the nurse to help, and without the logistics and equipment to help the person, the nurse will be frustrated.”

That, the Association’s First Vice President, who is also the Upper East Regional Chief Anaesthetist, noted was one of the reasons nurses and midwives would request postings out of the Upper East Region and the country.

“Already the conditions of service the Association negotiated for have not been implemented and the constant excuse they give is that there is no money, Health Insurance hasn’t paid,” he added.

According to him, the quota system for study leave for nurses and midwives for the Region was low, “We have engaged the Ghana Health Service on the issue, and we are hoping that what we will table before them will be accepted.”

Mr Akolgo expressed concern about the number of nurses who seek clearance from the Headquarters of the GRNMA to leave the country, saying; “Those who seek to leave are the experienced nurses and midwives we have in the system.”

He said even though the Association needed its members to stay in the country, deliver services and strengthen the union, “The welfare of our members is also critical to us so if we are suggesting to policy makers over initiatives, we can use to keep our nurses’ home and they are not implementing those suggestions, well, the only thing is to sit down and watch them leave.”

Mr Akolgo emphasized that equipped healthcare facilities, well arranged compensation and motivational packages would enable nurses and midwives to stay both in the Region and in the country.

Source: GNA

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