BRAIN DRAIN BACK? Doctors still leaving Ghana in droves – GMA

Health workers, especially doctors, in Ghana continue to leave the country in search of better working conditions in Canada, UK and the US.

According to the Ghana Medical Association, an increasing number of doctors in the country have left to seek greener pastures. And this is said to be raising questions on how Ghana’s health sector can be sustained as it loses most of its health professionals to migration.

Dr. Justice Yankson, a family physician who doubles as the Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association, has worked with the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for 20 years, has had opportunities to practice in other countries but he did not show interest. He feels he should have grabbed the opportunity.

File photo of a medical doctor

I had opportunities to travel and practice outside Ghana, but I wanted to stay here and work, there’s no vast difference in my pay back then what I am earning now” – Dr. Justice Yankson.  

He’s worried about the working conditions here. Same reasons that made his colleagues leave the country to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

Many of my colleague doctors have left and are still leaving due to the conditions of service here. If we look unconcerned for the health professionals to leave the country, we’re going to have difficulties”.

The poor working environment coupled with low pay is still pushing many health workers in Ghana to leave their post and take up positions abroad.

Frank Serebour - President of Ghana Media Association via
Frank Serebour – President of Ghana Media Association via

The president of the Ghana Medical Association, Frank Serebour says the health sector will be weakened if proper measures are not put in place to avoid the act. 

We know a lot have left and more are preparing to leave”, Dr. Frank Serebour, President of the  Ghana Medical Association tells MG News.

The government has appealed to health workers to stay in the country while it tries to improve their conditions of service. But some Dr Serebour says more needs to be done.

One of the key things mitigating against doctors is accommodation and social amenities especially in the deprived areas. We are trying our best to let some stay”.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has launched an awards scheme, Doctors Awards, partnered by MTN Ghana which is scheduled to take place on January 4 next year to motivate doctors to stay. 

They are urging the government to expedite action aimed at addressing the worsening economic situation in the country to reduce the brain drain in the health sector.

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