The health of the nation and the brain drain in the health sector

Type Working Paper
Title The health of the nation and the brain drain in the health sector
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
The health workforce in Ghana is estimated at a total of about 43,000 and this is
considered quite inadequate to meet health service delivery for 20million odd
Ghanaians. This situation is continually being exacerbated by a massive ‘brain drain’
of the health workers combined with internal mal-distribution to restrict access of
service seekers to providers. Efforts by the remaining health professionals,
irrespective of the severe resource constraints to achieve targets of public health and
institutional development are probably not making an impact. The health sector is
now recording increases in infant and under-five mortality and malnutrition rates.
Supervised births, malaria control, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis programs in the
country are thought to be performing below expectation and the Guinea worm
situation has worsened. The Ghana Health Sector is therefore experiencing a human
resource for health crisis and if the problems and current trends continue, Ghana will
not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals or even attain the targets
set in the Medium Term Health Strategic Framework. In the light of the brain drain
problems that the Health Sector faces, Ghana has started on a bold pathway of
working on strategies to address the problems of managing the human resources for
health as well as the continued exodus of health professional. The paper details some
secondary data analysis to link this brain drain with the possible stagnation in service
coverage that has been observed. Current retention strategies of the Ghana Health
sector are reviewed and recommendations made for future actions.

Related studies