It cannot be true that 50,000 of Ghana’s total nurse population of 70,000 have been employed by the three-year-old Akufo-Addo government, former President John Mahama has said.
“The government said they’ve employed 50,000 nurses since they came and still nurses are picketing and demonstrating”, Mr Mahama wondered in a Facebook Live transmission on Monday, 23 December 2019, adding: “I mean, it just shows that it’s not true”.
The 2020 flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said: “Recently, we were told by the Nurses and Midwives Council or whichever body it is that the total number of nurses in Ghana does not exceed 70,000, so, how could you have employed 50,000 nurses? So, that’s a fallacy”.
Meanwhile, Mr Mahama also promised to end the no-bed syndrome, saying his next government, should he win the 2020 elections, intends to continue the works he started during his last administration in opening up the health sector, by building more hospitals with more beds and employing more nurses, doctors and paramedics.
“What we did is to expand access to healthcare by building new hospitals. You cannot employ nurses when you don’t have anywhere to post them. And that’s why we started all the district hospitals. And our policy, when we launched our manifesto, is that there would be a modern health facility in every district of this country depending on the population size of the district.
“It can be a health centre, it can be a polyclinic, it can be a district hospital, and then, I already announced that in the six new regions, we are going to build six new regional hospitals.
“We’re also going to open the University of Ghana Medical Centre, and operationalise it”, Mr Mahama promised. All these, he said, “will lead to the employment of more nurses and doctors”.
He added: “We’re going to start Phase II of the Ridge Hospital project so that we can have more beds”.
“We want to end the no-bed syndrome”, Mr Mahama noted, decrying: “We shouldn’t have an emergency where you go to any hospital and they say that: ‘We don’t have beds, take the patient away’. Or even if they are forced to admit them, they go bring plastic chairs and put patients in them with the drip by their side. It is not the Ghana of the 21st Century”.
“And, so, we’re going to expand the healthcare sector so that we can bring in more nurses and paramedics. We’ll fully operationalise the Wa Regional Hospital. The programme that we had before we left office, we were introducing 6,000 new hospital beds and if every hospital bed requires three paramedics, that’s 6,000 x 3; you can imagine how many people we could have employed”.