Government defends decision to send nurses to Barbados
A Deputy Minister for Health, Alexander Abban has defended the president’s decision to send some Ghanaian nurses to work in Barbados.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has agreed in principle to a request by the Prime Minister of Barbados to send some 375 Ghanaian nurses to the Caribbean Island to work in their government’s medical facilities.
Speaking to Citi News, the Deputy Health Minister said it would be better to send those nurses abroad than absorb them in Ghana’s Health service with attendant salary challenges.
“Every decision that is taken, is done within the context of a number of factors. Let us assume for the purpose of argument that we have nurses to population ratio which is not adequate. We also have to take into consideration the fact when they are absorbed, they should be paid, so you look at all these factors to see whether in the current circumstances, it will be more prudent to take that step to just unleash them into the work field and not be able to pay them,” he said.
The agreement reached between the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mrs. Mia Amor Mottley and Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, came after the two leaders held bilateral talks at Bridgetown, Barbados, which formed part of the President’s five-day tour of the Caribbean.
Addressing a press conference after a closed-door meeting, the two leaders agreed that the acute shortage of nurses confronting Barbados was imperative and that Ghana was capable of offering help in that direction.
Barbadian Prime Minister said, “We have indicated that we are searching for just under 400 nurses, so it is not a small number, and we really do believe that this is a wonderful opportunity of co-operation between our two countries.”
In addition, there was also the need to initially secure the nurses and provide joint education programmes going forward, all in an attempt to secure Barbados’ healthcare sector, she said.