The Ghana Registered Nurses Association has asked the government to critically examine the nurse to patient ratio in the nation’s public hospitals.
The Association believes this will lead to a significant policy shift aimed at improving services at the nation’s hospitals.
This follows a request by the government of Barbados for some 375 nurses to boost healthcare delivery in that country.
According to the president of the association, Dr. Asante Krobea, the nurse to patient ratio in Ghana does not meet the standards of the World Health Organization.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, on Monday, Dr. Asante Krobea said more nurses are needed to bridge the gap.
“How many nurses are taking care of citizens of Ghana who at any point in time either is taken ill and are accepting healthcare services or seeking the advice and care of midwives. We do not have enough midwives or nurses taking care of that. It will require not less than 38,000 Nurses to bridge the nurse-patient ratio gap quite considerably,” he said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has agreed in principle to send some Ghanaian nurses to Barbados to support that country’s health system which is in need of nurses.
This came up when the President met with the Prime Minister of Barbados at Bridgetown on Friday on a day’s visit to that country as part of his larger visit to the Caribbeans.
About 375 nurses will be considered for this cooperation.
Addressing a press conference in the aftermath of the bilateral discussions, Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley 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 cooperation between our two countries.”
In addition, she noted that there was also an initial promise to secure the nurses and provide joint education programmes going forward, all in an attempt to secure Barbados’ healthcare sector.
That country is facing an acute nursing shortage.
President Akufo-Addo, in his response indicated that “we have a surplus of nurses in Ghana, and placing them all in our public health system is one of my headaches. There have been a lot (of nurses) produced, which, for several years, we have not been able to do anything with. So I am going back. I will be back in Accra on Monday, and, the week after, the Prime Minister will hear from me on this matter of nurses.”
The cooperation, which has not yet been formally agreed upon, when it comes into force, is expected to create employment for graduate nurses in the country who have on several occasions staged protests demanding jobs from the Ministry of Health.
The government has already given indications that it is working to send Ghanaian nurses to countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.