Tina Gifty Mensah
The Deputy Minister-designate for Health, Tina Gifty Mensah, has said the ministry is discussing incentive packages to attract physicians to accept postings to the rural areas since most of them are still refusing postings to those areas.
She stated that most doctors have refused postings to the rural areas because they do not want to go out of their “comfort zone” in the urban areas, thereby depriving “certain areas” of health care and health equity.
Answering questions at the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mrs. Mensah said the ministry was doing everything possible for the country to change the current narrative, indicating that “there is something on the table that is being discussed about giving incentives to health professionals who are willing to go to hard-to-reach areas of the country.
“This is to motivate them to move out. It is not just the doctors. If you happen to be at the ministry you can see how frustrating it is to receive people from all walks of life who don’t want to go to their various places they have been posted.
“But I believe when incentives are given they will be prepared to move out of their comfort zones,” she posited.
According to her, the ministry is also working to improve upon the doctor-population ratio, admitting that Ghana was lagging behind the recommended ratio of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is 1:1,000.
“In Ghana, it is 1:1,600 and the Ministry of Health is trying as much as possible to give clearance to doctors out there. The teaching hospitals and training institutions are training more doctors so that they can be posted to the various institutions,” the nominee asserted.
She, however, stated that Ghana had passed the WHO’s recommendation of the nurse-population ratio of 1:1,000, stressing that “our ratio is1:709.we have done more in this area.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House