Child Health Specialist, Professor Janet Neequaye, says while healthcare delivery in Ghana has significantly improved since she moved to the country in the 1970s, the inadequate distribution of healthcare workers across the country continues to be a major problem.
The Former Head of the Child Health Unit at the University of Ghana Medical School and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital said in the northern regions and rural areas particularly, health centres are understaffed making healthcare delivery a problem.
She noted that this is partly due to the fact that most healthcare workers refuse to go to these areas due to the lack of essential social amenities like schools to train their wards.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Personality Profile, she advised that government invest in maing these underserved areas medical staff friendly to attract healthcare workers.
“I think a major problem now with health system in Ghana is that the north and the rural areas are not well served. Medical staff and nurses would rather be in the big centres partly because when they go to the north for example, it’s difficult for their children to go to school because all the infrastructure is not as good as in the towns. So to improve the health delivery system you really need to make it more medical staff friendly in those affected areas,” she said.
She also said while medical training and salaries have significantly improved over the years, the government must make sure that the current economic downturn does not affect the working conditions of medical staff.
She said the failure of government to cushion healthcare workers from the economic situation would result in brain drain.
“Things have improved with regards to medical training and salaries, so we have to be careful now that things are temporarily difficult financially in the country, we have to be careful that public servants salaries and so on doesn’t fall behind again, because if it does, there’s a worldwide demand for medical staff and if things are bad, people will leave. There might be another brain drain,” she said.
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