The plight of the average Ghanaian

The doctor to patient ratio is 1: 10,032 and the nurse to patient ratio is 1: 1,240 as per the figures from Ghana Health Service 2011 Report. One is forced to wonder about the type of care that is accessible in this country.

This is a result of several years of “brain drain” which is now being addressed through ingenious ways of motivation and human resource capacity building.

To a large extent, I must say that Ghanaian health workers are miracle workers, in the sense that they use their skill and expertise to give care in a rather resource-constrained environment.

With this amount of workload, it is interesting to note that these same medical practitioners are able to moonlight or do locum shifts. Moving from one hospital or clinic to the other.

What then happens? The health worker is constantly tired and easily irritable. There is no time to educate patients on their medical conditions or the dosage and rationale for the medicines prescribed.
Health care practitioners are always in a hurry to complete their tasks and move on to the next well-paying job.

The result of which are acts of negligence, patients being subjected to long queues and waiting times, frustration at the medical system which then leads to mistrust and a return to unsafe alternate methods which negate the progress made in modifying the health seeking behavior of the average individual.

I would like to know how can we change this tide?

Any thoughts?

Ever since I was a little girl for as far back as I can remember, I wanted to work in the hospital primarily as a Medical Doctor. This dream led me to study science and later find myself as a Registered Nurse in Ghana. The deplorable state of the environment in which I worked drove me to empower myself in the area of management. You see, it was my thinking that the state in which we find our medical care industry is the derivative of the challenges with leadership, the level of importance we attach to health (orthodox) and the absence of the will power to bring about change.

I realise that I have no choice in this matter of being committed to contributing my quota to health in whatever way possible.

My Country Ghana is a beautiful country with lovely people blessed with a lot of resources. Although great strides have been made and continue to be made towards development as a whole, there is the need for people to pay more attention to health in a holistic manner and not simply for the purpose of curing illness.