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General News
Adopt strategies to gain from brain drain Sam Jonah 4/20/2008

Accra, April 19, GNA- Mr. Sam Jonah, a renowned business executive and industrialist on Saturday called on government to adopt innovative means to tap economic benefits from the current brain drain in the health sector.

He said, this, government could do by entering into bilateral agreements with countries that were aggressive for such professionals and arranging for a win-win situation.

Mr. Jonah made the call at the 7th congregation of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana in Accra. In all, 647 grandaunts were presented with certificates for PhD, MSc, MPH, MPhil, Bachelor of Science degree and diploma in health and the applied sciences.

Mr Jonah said the agreements should offer better paying jobs and professional mentoring for the Ghanaian health worker working abroad, who would be required to return home after some years of practice to transfer the expertise to other colleagues.

He expressed regret that Africa possesses 25 per cent of the global disease burden, yet has only 1.3 per cent of the world''s health professional working in the continent.

"In Ghana, 2,500 physicians were currently working here but about 600 licensed Ghanaian doctors were working in the New York City alone", he added.

He also proposed the setting up of a special Medical Fund, which would generate funding from levies on urban buildings, fuel and imported vehicles to improve remuneration for health workers and implement programmes to train and retain more practitioners.

Mr. Jonah said practitioners who worked abroad should not always be seen as patriotic, since remittances from Ghanaians in the Diaspora had become a major source of foreign exchange.

He also further challenged private entrepreneurs to set up private nursing schools focused on preparing nurses for the Western countries in order to become a net exporter of health professionals. He advised the students to always upgrade their skills, since medicine was dynamic.

Professor Aaron L. Lawson, Provost of the College said the institution, since its inception eight years ago had chalked many successes in its bid to produce highly qualified and competent professionals to meet the health needs of the country. He congratulated the graduants for the hard work done and urged them not to forget to contribute positively to the development of the college and the University as a whole.

Prof. Lawson also called for the support of corporate bodies to sponsor lecturers and specialists for further training in order to enhance teaching of the sciences.

Professor Clifford N. B Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, appealed to government to make funds available to enable the University to complete its Teaching Hospital this year. He commended the management and staff of the College for its achievement and advised the grandaunts to use their skills to ensure quality health care.
Source: GNA

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