The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, says finding health professionals to populate government’s Agenda 111 hospitals is top on their priorities list.
This, he says, is because of the ongoing brain drain depriving the nation of its much-needed professionals to man the health sector and various other sectors of the country.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, he expressed that as a result, a lot of planning has been done to ensure that enough health professionals are allocated to each hospital.
He added that special packages are made available for facilities located in remote areas to entice the professionals to move there.
He stated that the ongoing brain drain is occasioned by concerns about job satisfaction, job security, and remuneration.
According to him, in the plan being formulated for the Agenda 111 hospitals, all these concerns are being seriously considered, and provisions are being made to address them adequately.
“…it is job satisfaction and job security. Every doctor who finishes school first has an ambition that I want to specialise in this and this. So that’s the first thing. Then, every health professional wants to get the place where the environment will have the equipment and everything to work with.
“Every health professional who is asked to move to a place or is posted to a hospital will like to go to a place and get maybe a place where he’ll put their head. And the other thing is that also the remuneration which comes with it,” he said.
He added that “I have a very strong belief in my heart that a doctor working in Accra should not receive the same salary or the same remuneration as a doctor working in my village. The fact being that the doctor working in Accra during his spare time may have some private hospitals where they can go and practice.
“So if you have a decent accommodation, you have what we normally call a hardship allowance or rural allowance or hard-to-reach area allowance, and then the doctor having somebody who is supporting him or her and also he can also do postgraduate even which is decentralised at where he’s working now that we have digitization of e-health, the person can also have support from seniors and specialists in other hospitals.”
He stated that when the Agenda 111 hospitals are completed, all these concerns would be addressed to encourage health professionals to move to the facilities.
“First, they’re well equipped, we’re also thinking seriously even about the management of these hospitals, because we can put up these very beautiful hospitals we’ll have people who are working there, the management system is also very important, and the doctor who is in one of these rural areas will have an allowance which has been all been worked out.
“And I am sure the ministry is looking at it and will go to finance for approval and get that top-up salary, and he can sit at wherever he is,” he said.