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Over 100 nurses leave Pantang hospital for greener pastures

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In the past six years, about 150 experienced nurses and other healthcare workers from the Pantang Hospital have relocated abroad in quest of better opportunities.

One hundred (100) of them are specialized mental and general nurses, with the remaining staff members being doctors, pharmacists, technicians, and other skilled members of the healthcare delivery network.

According to hospital data, the number of experienced experts quitting their positions has been alarmingly rising since the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic broke out.

The government’s efforts to strengthen the hospital’s workforce by hiring an extra 179 staff members (including 128 professional nurses) between 2018 and 2022 are being thwarted by this occurrence.

According to an analysis of the data, the number of professionals quitting increased progressively from eight in 2018 to 26 in 2020 and a peak of 64 in 2022, from a reported eight professionals quitting in 2018.

When 11 seasoned professionals—10 nurses and one doctor—resigned in January of this year alone, the situation became even more concerning.

According to information acquired by the Daily Graphic, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has been notified of the development and asked to take appropriate action.

Negative effects

Dr. Frank Baning, the hospital’s medical director, claimed that the situation was having a bad effect on the medical section of the hospital in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra.

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“The majority of our seasoned nurses and other health workers are currently leaving.” In fact, roughly 10 people typically leave each month, he claimed.

Dr. Baning stated that even if the government increased staff numbers annually by hiring new employees, the alarming rate of employee departures necessitated attention.

He claimed that the predicament was placing tremendous weight, pressure, and stress on the few people still working for the institution and the nation as a whole.

Given the number of individuals who quit their jobs in the previous two years, the medical director claimed that this was already having an impact on the hospital’s ability to provide high-quality healthcare.

“We have observed the government’s efforts to increase the workforce, but as soon as new hires are added, the hospital loses more of the seasoned staff.”

“We lost 75 individuals last year and this year alone; we hope the government will rapidly replace those departing to guarantee efficiency.

As more than 10 professional nurses have reportedly left for better opportunities this year, he predicted that the trend would continue.

There is a professional exodus.

The medical director emphasized that the category of departing nurses fell under the category of professionals.

According to Dr. Baning, the hospital would need roughly 1,000 licensed professional nurses to provide both general and mental health services.

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Yet, he claimed that the hospital could only claim to have 286 nurses performing the tasks of 1,000 people at the moment.

Two hundred eighty-six is far from what we consider optimum, according to the medical director of Pantang Hospital.

He went on to say that the regular departures left a gap that made the extra recruits from the government not enough.

Collins Kesse, the hospital administrator, also revealed to the Daily Graphic that in addition to nurses, the institution had also lost staff in vital positions, including biomedical engineers, radiographers, and pharmacists.

He claimed that as a result of this phenomenon, the hospital hired private contractors and spent a significant amount of its own funds (IGF) to handle its X-ray machines and other equipment.

Thus, Mr. Kesse added, “We need the appropriate people in the correct mix to make sure that the hospital functions at full capacity.”

MoH Advised

The ministry was properly notified about the issue at Pantang Hospital about the departure of nurses and other professionals, according to multiple sources within the MoH.

Yet, they said that the problem was widespread because the majority of medical experts were leaving the country’s borders in search of better opportunities.

According to the sources, this is because the COVID-19 outbreak increased demand for qualified healthcare workers, particularly in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

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One of the insiders stated, “The ministry’s human resources department is looking into the difficulties to determine whether there may be any replacement for Pantang and other impacted institutions.

The government has noticed

In a previous interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra on the departure of professional nurses, the Director-General (DG) of Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, stated the government had taken notice of the situation and the void it caused.

“A lot of our qualified nurses are relocating to Europe and other parts of the world. There is a need to increase the number of professional nurses nationwide because they are mostly hiring professionals, he said.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said that because of this, the government has made a number of changes, such as giving auxiliary nurses more time to study and letting people who got higher certificates without permission from the right authorities keep them.

The GHS Director-General outlined how the amnesty would make sure that nurses who had legitimately obtained licenses that were appropriate for their level of expertise were raised from auxiliary to professional status.

Others include a thorough analysis to determine the effect of nurses leaving Ghana in search of better opportunities.

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