The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has said the bilateral agreement by the government of Ghana and the British government to exchange nurses for cash would harm Ghana’s health system.
The GRNMA says although the move is commendable, there might be a shortage of professionally trained nurses should the agreement take full effect.
According to the President of the GRNMA, Perpetual Ofori Ampofo, there are a few professionally trained nurses currently in the system.
“You realised that we have a lot more of the certificate holders as against a lower number in terms of the diploma holders and degree holders.”
She indicated that the government needs to invest in training more nurses with higher qualifications to mitigate the adverse effects of the bilateral agreement on the system.
“There are professional members who are not the best, and these are the same people taking care of Ghanaians. So, we need to change and look at building the infrastructure of GRNMA and helping build the caucus so that they will be in a better position to train more specialist nurses and midwives to boost the nation’s human resource capacity.
“At that point, you will definitely have adequate numbers to work in Ghana and, at the same time, migrate elsewhere to work. But in the current circumstances, although we cannot abrogate what we have done with the UK, it’s going to come back and hit us,” she said in an interview with Citi News, monitored by The Ghana Report.
The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, had disclosed that discussions were underway to send trained Ghanaian nurses to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
According to him, there is an ongoing bilateral contract with the British government in exchange for financial consideration.
During the 2023 Budget debate in Parliament on Monday, December 5, the Dormaa Central legislator said the agreement would be similar to an existing arrangement with Barbados, under which he said Ghanaian nurses are excelling.
“We are engaging with the government of the United Kingdom, and we are just about to sign a memorandum of agreement after cabinet approval to begin to send nurses for training and work there and come back home after three years.
“Ghana is going to benefit from the little money that the UK government will pass on. For every single nurse that goes away, when we finish the agreement, it is likely we will get over 1000 pounds to come and support the health system in Ghana,” the Minister explained.