HomeLifestyleHealthOkyenhene calls for action on medical brain drain

Okyenhene calls for action on medical brain drain

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Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panin has expressed concern over the rate of medical brain drain in Ghana.

Speaking at the 2023 Retreat for the Medical Superintendent Group in the Eastern Region under the Theme: ‘Enhancing Hospital Management Systems for Improved Health Care Delivery,’ the Okyenhene opined that, the phenomenon of medical personnel leaving the shores of Ghana in search of greener pastures on a daily basis has a devastating consequence on the nation’s health system.

Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin said that in 2019, Ghana had about 3,236 medical doctors attending to a population of about 30 million, making the doctor – patient ratio far below any acceptable standards.

He said a 2015 study showed that the number of African-trained international medical graduates practising in the US alone reached a staggering 13,584 equivalent to about one African-educated physician migrating to the US per day over the last decade.

He said that the studies further showed that 86% of all African-educated physicians working in the US were trained in Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa.

“The sad aspect of this is that the beneficiary destination countries do not pay for the cost of training of African doctors they recruit. One in 10 doctors working in the UK comes from Africa. This means that the UK saves an average of 2.7 billion dollars on training costs. This is a big loss to our country,” Osagyefo Amoatia, opined.

He believes that the future of Africa’s youth does not lie in migration to Europe or America.

He said that currently, Ghana has a ratio of nine doctors to 100,000 patients.

The Okyenhene acknowledged that medicine has a tradition of international collaboration with doctors moving around the globe to gain further training and different clinical experiences. However, he believes that what is happening with medical personnel in Ghana is not collaboration. It is a gradual march towards humanitarian disaster.

“The US employs half of English speaking doctors in the world. It wants more. By deadly coincidence, the US wants to employ one million more healthcare workers in the next 15 years – exactly the extra number needed for sub-Saharan Africa in line with the sustainable development goals.”

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