One of the largest nursing organizations in the world claims that high-income nations are “out of control” in recruiting nurses from less developed nations.
The BBC has discovered evidence that Ghana’s health system is struggling as a result of the “brain-drain,” which led to the comments.
Numerous expert medical caretakers have left the West African country for better paid positions abroad.
More than 1,200 Ghanaian nurses were added to the UK nursing register in 2022.
This comes as the Public Wellbeing Administration (NHS) progressively depends on staff from non-EU nations to fill opportunities.
Albeit the UK says dynamic enrollment in Ghana isn’t permitted, virtual entertainment implies medical attendants can undoubtedly see the opening accessible in NHS trusts. They can then go after those positions straightforwardly. Ghana’s desperate financial circumstance goes about as a major push factor.
The magnitude of the number of nurses leaving countries like Ghana worries Howard Catton of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
He stated to the BBC, “My sense is that the situation is currently out of control.”
“We have intense recruitment taking place, primarily driven by six or seven high-income countries, but also with recruitment from some of the weakest and most vulnerable countries that can ill-afford to lose their nurses.”
The head of nursing at More noteworthy Accra Provincial Emergency clinic, Gifty Aryee, told the BBC her Emergency unit had lost 20 medical caretakers to the UK and US over the most recent a half year – with grave ramifications.
Because we are unable to take any more patients, our care is affected. There are deferrals and it costs more in mortality – patients pass on,” she said.
She went on to say that because there weren’t enough nurses, seriously ill patients often had to wait longer in the emergency room.
She wanted to join the half of her classmates who had left the country, according to one hospital nurse.
“All of our skilled nurses are gone”
At Cape Coast Municipal Hospital, the BBC discovered a similar circumstance.
The medical clinic’s delegate head of nursing administrations, Caroline Agbodza, said she had seen 22 attendants leave for the UK somewhat recently.
“All our basic consideration nurture, our accomplished medical caretakers, have gone. As a result, we are left with nothing but inexperienced staff. We must relive the agony of nursing education even if the government hires.”
Staff turnover also has an impact on smaller clinics because even the departure of one nurse can have a significant ripple effect.
One nurse has left the outpatients unit and the small emergency department at Cape Coast’s Ewim Health Clinic. Both nurses had jobs in the UK and had previous experience.
The effects, according to Dr. Justice Arthur, the hospital’s chief physician, were enormous.
Let’s take services like child immunization. “He told the BBC that if we lose public health nurses, the babies that need to be immunized won’t get them, and babies will die,” he said.
He stated that adult patients would also pass away if there were insufficient nurses to care for them following surgery.
The BBC team talked to most of the nurses who wanted to leave Ghana because they could make more money elsewhere.
Mercy Asare Afriyie said that she hoped to get a job in the UK soon at the Kwaso healthcare center near Kumasi.
“Due to our poor working conditions, the exodus of nurses will continue. You’ve already spent two weeks’ worth of our meager salary. It goes from mouth to hand.
The BBC heard from Ghanaian nurses that they could receive more than seven times as much care in the UK as they do in Ghana.
According to Ghana’s Nurses and Midwives Association member Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, the country’s healthcare system required additional assistance.
She stated, “If you look at the numbers, then it is not ethical for the UK to recruit from Ghana because the number of professional nurses compared to trainee or auxiliary nurses is a problem for us.” “If you look at the numbers,” she added.
She added, however, that the Ghanaian government needed to do more to convince nurses to stay because migration was a right and it was impossible to prevent nurses from leaving. Accra’s health ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
Ghana is one of 55 countries deemed vulnerable by the World Health Organization due to its low nurse-to-population ratio. The rundown – named by some as the “red rundown” – is intended to beat orderly enlistment in these nations down.
To assist in expanding their healthcare workforces, the UK government recently provided Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya with £15 million (or $18.6 million).
However, it is known that the nation is contemplating a formal agreement with Ghana in which it may be able to recruit more proactively in exchange for paying the Ghanaian government per nurse.
With Nepal, it already has a similar agreement.
However, the ICN’s Mr Catton addressed whether it was sufficient.
“Trying to create a veneer of ethical respectability rather than a proper reflection of the true costs to the countries that are losing their nurses,” he stated to the BBC.
Jim Campbell, Director of the WHO’s Health Workforce, told the BBC that Brexit had led the UK to look to African nations for nurses to fill NHS positions.
“The labor market is extremely competitive worldwide, and what we’re seeing is the consequences of closing off the potential labor market from European freedom of movement in terms of attracting people from the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions,”