The President of Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Madam Perpetual Ofori Ampofo has declared that nurses and midwives are free to travel outside the country to work though their services are needed here.
“The truth of the matter is that, migration is a right, a person can move anywhere to go and work. So let’s increase salaries, improve conditions of work and let’s provide the requisite allowances people need to be comfortable to work here” she uttered
Madam Ofori Ampofo expressed worry that some of the unemployed nursing graduates have been waiting for two years for their postings. “And even as we talked about financial clearance, we still have a lot of qualified nurses and midwives who are waiting to be posted. There have been a lot of agitations recently by the trained professionals who are yet to be given employment”
“Meanwhile, Ghanaian nurses and midwives are well sought after in western countries because of their quality. So, if I get up tomorrow and I make an informed decision that I want to travel abroad and work, nothing should stand in my way as an individual. But as a nation we should put in the necessary plans to ensure that even if people are moving out to work elsewhere, we should still have enough of the work force remain in Ghana to provide nursing and midwifery services for the good people of Ghana” Madam Perpetual Ofori Ampofo told 3FM 92.7 in Accra.
She added “Let me use this opportunity to call on the Minister of Finance to fast track the financial clearance for those groups of graduates so that we can all have our peace because it doesn’t augur well for any of us. We frequent the office of the director HR at the Ministry of Health to talk about these things but of course you send out the message to our colleagues but some don’t believe. They feel nothing much has been done about it but the truth of the matter is that we are following up seriously.”
Madam Perpetual Ampofo noted that the work conditions overseas are very lucrative and conducive. She urged the government to improve the conditions of service of nurses and midwives in Ghana in order for them to stay.
The nurse to patient ratio in Ghana is not yet clear but as at last year, it was estimated at one to twenty seven whereas the nurse to population ratio is about one hundred and thirty thousand nurses and midwives to thirty one million people of the population. Thus; one nurse is to two hundred and thirty nine patients.
The GRNMA President also disclosed that in 2011, the association partnered with Public Services International to do a survey whose report came out in 2012 but it is still relevant as of today because what the nurses and midwives shared then is the same as what is happening today. She explained that “most of them responded that if the conditions of service were better at home, they would not think for one minute to travel abroad because everybody wants to be with their families so they wouldn’t want to leave and go anywhere else.”
Madam Ofori Ampofo emphasised that we have a lot of work to do as a country and we need to address and prioritise health and prioritise our nursing and midwifery work force if we want to attain universal health coverage and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal three (SDG 3) by the year 2030, then it is important that look at some of these things.
She iterated that the call for investment in nursing means; investment in nursing education, investment in nursing jobs, investment in nursing leadership to ensure that the kind of leaders that are in the profession have the nursing and managerial ability to lead the nursing force.
By Samuel Afriyie Owusu|3news.com|Ghana