General News Wed, 3 Dec 2003

Poor remuneration alone, not cause of brain drain

Kumasi, Dec. 3, GNA - A Senior Nursing Officer has observed that improved remuneration and the provision of cars to doctors and nurses alone is not enough to halt the brain drain that had characterised the health sector in recent times.

Mrs Margaret Marfo-Atiemo, Director of Nursing Services at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), said such incentives even though crucial might not curb the incidence of brain drain, unless they are fully supported with housing loans.

She was interacting with newsmen on factors that contribute to nurses in particular leaving the job to seek greener pastures outsid! e the country.

The interaction followed the opening of a five-day workshop on wounds management, jointly organised by the KATH and the International Reconstructive Plastic Surgery (Ghana) Project in Kumasi on Monday for doctors and nurses countrywide.


Mrs Marfo-Atiemo reiterated that the main factor propelling the exodus of nurses "is not just the desire for making big monies, but rather about their future security in terms of where to lay their heads when they eventually go on pension".

She held that if a housing loans scheme was instituted for nurses, coupled with enhanced conditions of service, the problem of brain d! rain amongst nurses could be drastically reduced.

&nbs p; She explained that the brain drain had actually had a negative impact on health care delivery especially at the wards described as "heavy wards" at the KATH.

These are the child health care, maternity and surgery or accident wards. Mrs Marfo-Atiemo noted that even though such wards require an average of 30 nurses to effectively handle cases there, they are now compelled to make do with about only 16 nurses.

Source: GNA