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[e-drug] Brain drain of pharmacists (cont'd)

E-drug: Brain drain of pharmacists (cont'd)

[Ghana lost 410 pharmacists between 1993 and 2002.  In 2002 alone
they lost 77. Cross posted from AFRO-NETS. Thanks]

Ghana lost 12,365 Health Professionals 1993-2002

Published: 11/29/03

Statistics show that 12,365 health professionals left the country in
search of greener pastures between 1993 and 2002.

Of the figure 630 were medical doctors, 410 pharmacists, 83
laboratory technicians and 11,325 nurses including auxiliaries.

Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, Minister of Defence, said in 2002 the nation
lost 70 doctors, 77 pharmacists and 214 nurses, adding, "from all
indications, the problem is assuming alarming proportions".

He was addressing the 10th Oath Swearing Ceremony for 92 newly
trained doctors from the School of Medical Science (SMS), Kwame
Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi
on Friday.

Dr Addo Kufuor said the truth is that Ghana, as a developing country,
could not match the attractive pay and conditions of service offered
by the more affluent countries to which the doctors, nurses and other
health professionals move when they turn their backs on their

He urged the newly trained doctors to give some thought to the
problem to determine for themselves whether the poor farmers and
fisher folk, the low-paid workers, their families and dependants from
whose taxes they are able to acquire their training as doctors are
getting value for their investment in their education.

The Minister said "perhaps the time has come for the district
assemblies and other stakeholders to sponsor students through the
medical schools and also through post graduate professional courses
in return for dedicated service to the people and institutions which
sponsored their professional development".

Dr Addo Kufuor appealed to managers of the various health
insurance schemes to make provision not only for professional career
development of health professionals they engage but also ensure that
they enjoy satisfactory conditions of service to make them happy to
remain in the country.

"After all, without contented service providers there can be no
successful health insurance scheme", he said.

Dr Addo Kufuor spoke of the great efforts the government is making
to solve problems facing the health professionals and men tioned the
provision of means of transport, prompt payment of additional duty
allowances, improved post qualification training facilities, the
proposed mortgage loans and the establishment of health insurance
schemes as well as rehabilitation and completion of various health

Professor Kwesi A. Andam Vice-Chancellor of the University, asked
the doctors to help ensure a reduction in health inequalities in the
country between the north and the south, urban and rural areas by
accepting or opting to work in these areas.

He said the doctor is a critical factor in realising the objectives of the
health care system and that the university is determined to double the
intake of students at the SMS to help meet the nation's demand for
more doctors.

Prof Andam said the university has plans to review the curriculum of
the medical school to bring it in conformity with the challenges of the

Prof E.T. Agbenyega, Dean of the SMS, said the School has since
1975 turned out 792 doctors.

He advised medical professionals to cultivate the spirit of sacrificing.

''The rate you are leaving the country can lead to calls for full cost
recovery in the training of doctors and other health professionals'', he


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