Some 10,209 nurses between January 01, and July 07, 2023, sought clearance with the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) Secretariate to leave the country for greener pastures.
Out of the figure, about 4,000 were cleared and have travelled to work outside as nurses.
Dr David Tenkorang-Twum, General Secretary of GRNMA, said this in an interview with the media.
She said rampant exit was affecting the healthcare system because many of those leaving were experienced nurses, who were supposed to mentor the younger ones.
Dr David Tenkorang-Twum said the situation was leading to staff shortage, with pressure on the few remaining staff.
“Nursing care is a continuum, and if people who are to relieve you have travelled out, it tells one to put in a little long hour, which will create issues of work overload.
“Somebody who has practised for several years has considerable competencies and experience that we have to count on.
“There’s going to be a gap between the newly qualified and the very old because those who have served up to 10 years are leaving, who are there to mentor the new ones that are coming?”
He attributed the situation to the harsh economic conditions in the country, saying: “The only thing that can resolve this matter is to improve the service condition of nurses and what comes to mind is our premium …”
The General Secretary stated that the delay in employing fresh graduates was another issue of concern, adding that fresh graduates would be tempted to migrate or find other profitable jobs when not given clearance and immediate employment.
“If we employ them as quickly as possible and engage them as soon as they complete their course or service, that temptation to migrate will be minimised. Even if some will leave, only a few people will leave,” he explained.
Dr Justice Yankson, Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), urged the government to improve the working conditions of health professionals to attract more of them to stay and work for the country.
He said quality healthcare delivery would be compromised if no intervention was put in place.