The General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Titus Beyuo, has warned of the growing effect of brain drain in the health sector in recent times.
“As we speak, doctors and nurses are leaving this country in droves. Brain drain has returned in full swing,” Dr. Beyuo said in an interview on TV3.
He expressed concern that the Agenda 111 project had failed to take into account the issue of human resources in the health sector.
The Agenda 111 project is to ensure that 101 districts will be provided with hospitals in addition to 10 selected regional and specialised hospitals.
The government has already set aside an amount of US$100 million as commencement funding for the project.
But Dr. Beyuo said that the “Agenda 111 [initiative] appears to be disconnected from the HR policies of the Ministry of Health, and that is a fundamental worry.”
While he did not provide evidence of the increasing brain drain, he said this was a trend his outfit had noticed in major hospitals.
He mentioned that in one major hospital in Accra for instance, one particular unit has lost five medical doctors who have all traveled to practice outside.
Dr. Beyuo also said medical students were setting their sights on practicing abroad even before they complete school.
According to him, some of his students were in groups studying for the United States of America Medical Licence Exam.
“So right from medical school, they are studying towards passing the US licensing exam and leaving,” Dr. Beyuo said.
He thus said the government needed a deliberate strategy to guard against this.
“Apart from training the workers, we must find a way of earmarking them, attracting them, and retaining them there.”
He warned that if this wasn’t done, “we’ll have facilities there without people to work in them.”