The number of nurses who have left countries like Ghana to find jobs in nations where they can be paid higher, has led to worries about a massive emigration and its influence on healthcare systems in impoverished countries.
Less than two years ago, over 1,200 nurses left Ghana and joined the UK’s nursing register, Howard Catton, from the International Council of Nurses, showed concern about the state of affairs, stated that, “We have intense recruitment taking place mainly driven by six or seven high-income countries but with recruitment from countries which are some of the weakest and most vulnerable which can ill-afford to lose their nurses.”
The head of nursing at Greater Ghana Accra Regional Hospital ,Gifty Aryee, disclosed that her Intensive Care Unit in particular had already lost 20 nurses to the UK and US in the last six months, with severe consequences. “Care is affected as we are not able to take any more patients. There are delays and it costs more in mortality – patients die,” she said
The West African country, Ghana is known to be one of the 55 countries at risk on the World Health Organization’s list with low numbers of nurses per head of population.
The government of the United Kingdom not long ago gave out £15m (US$18.6m) to Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya to assist in building up their healthcare workforces.
On the other hand, the government of the UK is also taking into consideration an official deal with Ghana, a deal close to the existing agreement with Nepal, making sure of more dynamic recruitment in exchange for a sum of money per nurse.