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Upper West woos doctors, nurses with housing incentive

2014-04-09 19:51:14
This article has been read 1311 times.

The Upper West Region is embarking on a housing scheme for medical staff in order to attract and retain their services.In this regard, the various municipal and district assemblies in the region are collaborating to construct residential facilities for health workers who are posted to the region.

The Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng, has consequently appealed to health professionals across the country to accept postings to the Upper West Region, where their services are most needed “even as we strive to make conditions here better.”

Facilities in health institutions

At the fourth matriculation of the Lawra Health Assistants Training School at Lawra last Saturday, the regional minister said the government would continue to do its best “to ensure that our health training and service delivery institutions have the necessary facilities to work with.”

The intervention announced by the regional minister comes in the wake of a recent admission by the Regional Health Director, Dr Abudulai A. Forgor, that the acute shortage of medical doctors in the Upper West Region had become a national emergency that needed urgent attention.

As of January this year, the region had just six medical doctors, with only five of the 11 political districts privileged to have medical doctors.

According to the Principal of the Lawra Health Assistants Training School, Mr Edmund Dianbiir, there is no staff accommodation, and teachers who are posted to the school have been accommodated in guest houses and rented apartments at high costs, as incentives to the teachers.

The regional minister said the President attached importance to the health sector and that had necessitated the decision to set aside 10 per cent of his salary, that of the Vice President and those of all his ministers to support the construction of Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds as an important contribution to maternal and neonatal health.

Indeed, the Upper West Region has the biggest number of CHPS compounds in the country.

Some 255 students matriculated at last Saturday’s event for a two-year study, and Mr Ziedeng said graduates from similar schools across the country had helped to reduce the patient-nurse ratio on the national scale from the 1:1,497 in 2009 to 1:1,240 in 2011.

Mr Ziedeng said the increase in the number of graduates from the various medical fields had become even more important on account of the increase in out-patient attendance at medical facilities, especially patients who are on the National Health Insurance Scheme.


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