Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, has said the government remains committed to the gradual absorption of the backlog of qualified Nursing and Midwifery professionals into the healthcare delivery system.
He admitted that although the process may take a bit longer for professionals who were waiting for their turns to be employed, the process required more patience and improved strategy, owing to the huge numbers involved and the fact that more facilities, especially Community Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) must be expanded while existing health infrastructures upgraded.
Mr Agyeman-Manu was speaking in Accra, at the induction ceremony for the 2018 batch of 8,610 Newly qualified Nurse Assistants, Nurses and Midwives, who constituted those from the Southern Sector alone.
He said a total of 20,034 of such professionals were inducted this year with 5,321 and 6,103 coming from the Northern and Middle Sectors of the country respectively.
The Health Minister stated that notwithstanding the challenges inherent in the recruitment of the critical mass of health professionals, plans were advanced with provisions made in the 2020 national budget to make this a reality.
He admitted that effective health systems were critical for national development, and so the government would work at ensuring that the right to health for all Ghanaians are guaranteed through an established public health system, with sustainable ability to deliver affordable, equitable, and easily accessible health care.
However, there is the need for nurses and midwives to engage in continuous professional education in the area of specialization, to keep pace with current global standards of their profession.
Mr Agyeman-Manu encouraged all practitioners to take advantage of the free two-year online continuous professional development programme by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)in partnership with the International Council of Nursing, and the World Continuing Education Alliance (WCEA).
He said it is expected that the Ministry of Health, Nurses and Midwifery Council and other interested stakeholders pool resources together in order to procure adequate number of professionals in terms of the quality desired, and the quantity demanded on an efficient, and effective basis.
The Health Minister also commended the NMC for its excellent regulatory role over the past 49 years, which earned Ghana a global applause and a mentorship position especially, from other African countries including; Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Liberia and Ethiopia who sent their delegation to understudy the Council’s operations to improve their own health systems.
Mr Felix Nyante, the Registrar of the Nurses and Midwifery Council, presented the inductees before Reverend Veronica Mina Darko, the Chairperson of the 14th Governing Board of the Nurses and Midwifery Council, for induction.