Stakeholders urged to take action to improve the distribution of doctors in Ghana

Stakeholders urged to take action to improve the distribution of doctors in Ghana

The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Ghana, Dr Francis Kasolo has known as for concerted action to bridge the hole in the distribution of doctors between rural and concrete areas in Ghana.

Delivering the keynote handle at the sixty fourth Annual General Conference of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on the theme: ‘Doctor distribution dilemma – the case of Ghana and its underserved areas’, Dr. Kasolo described the unfair distribution of doctors and other health care staff throughout the country as a risk to efforts in direction of bettering the health and wellbeing of all individuals and urged all stakeholders to take action instantly to handle that.

“The inequitable distribution of doctors between rural and urban areas is now a crisis. It seriously undermines our progress towards Universal Health Coverage and we must all work together to address it,” Dr. Kasolo noted.

Ghana has made great positive factors in the doctor to population ratio, bettering from one doctor to 17,899 in 2005 to one doctor to 6,500 in 2020.

However, accessible data additionally present that 42% of the doctors are in Accra alone, and up to 81.3% of all doctors are concentrated in 5 areas – i.e., Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Northern and Volta areas, with the Teaching Hospitals in these 5 areas collectively having over 60% of all the doctors in Ghana.

“Over the years, Ghana has made progress in improving the doctor to population ratio, but we must remember that the unfair distribution of these doctors leads to unmet health needs in rural and remote areas resulting in a decreased life expectancy; higher preventable maternal and under-5 mortality rates,” he added.

Dr. Francis Kasolo recognized migration and retention challenges as some of the causes of the scarcity of doctors in Ghana and recommended some key interventions in line with WHO guideline on health workforce improvement, attraction, recruitment and retention in rural and distant areas.

“Providing differential incentives for those working in rural and under-served areas and re-engineering the training and regulation of doctors to include extensive exposure to rural and under-served areas will help improve the situation,” he said.

He added that, “We must also provide deliberate opportunities for the admission of medical students from rural and deprived areas and providing financial support for their training.”

WHO has been supporting the Government of Ghana to improve the maldistribution of doctors and other healthcare staff in Ghana. This consists of an help to develop the multi-criteria deprivation index to be used to objectively classify the districts in accordance to their relative ranges of deprivation. This when applied, can handle both financial and non-pecuniary aspects of encouraging retention in rural and under-served areas.

In addition, WHO helps the improvement and implementation of health sector staffing norm while additionally offering assist for coaching wants assessment of health staff. WHO with funding from the UK Department of Health and Social Care, (UK-DHSC) can also be currently serving to Ghana to embark on a health labour market analysis to contribute to future insurance policies and methods in addressing the health employee challenges, particularly the wants of rural and under-served areas.

Dr. Francis Kasolo pledged the WHO’s steady assist to Ghana in making certain that nobody anyplace is left behind in the entry to healthcare services.

“As WHO, we will continue to work with all partners to help drive government’s efforts to achieve equitable distribution of doctors and other healthcare workers in Ghana”, Dr. Kasolo assured.

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