The President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Dr Kwaku Asante-Krobea, has expressed concern about the fallen standards in nursing and midwifery in the country.
He attributed the situation to the proliferation of nursing and midwifery training schools and their focus on producing numbers instead of quality.
Dr Asante-Krobea said that at the opening ceremony of the 17th biennial national congress of the association at Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region.
Dubbed “Health Care in Ghana: Investing in Nurses and Midwives for Better Prospects”, it was attended by over 400 nurses and midwives from across the country to deliberate on issues regarding the profession.
The five-day congress also elected a new national executive for a four-year term.
The GRNMA president said the discipline in regulating the establishment of nursing training schools had gotten out of hand and “politicians had the better part of it”.
He added: “As far as nursing and midwifery are concerned, what is responsible for such shortfalls demands a radical investment and an infusion of huge expenditure that would translate into a capital turnover in patient outcomes”.
He called on the government to increase its investment in the health sector, particularly on nurses and midwives, to help boost their performance to meet the public demand.
He said the public wanted to know that the nurses who were providing them care were competent, indicating that only a system that recognised the contribution of nurses and midwives as the catalyst for better prospect could live up to clients’ expectation.
“We must agree that it is not right for the government to pay little or no attention to the prioritisation of health care to undermine the vested interest of the association,” he stressed.
Dr Asante-Krobea said it was in recognition of the relevance of nursing that the World Health Organisation had declared the year 2020 as the year of nurses and midwives in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the ‘mother’ of modern nursing.
He said the year must be a fertile ground for the government to prioritise health care and see it as an investment and not a cost.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, also told the nurses and midwives that they were duty bound to complement the effort of the government in ensuring that the nation achieved the Sustainable Development Goal.
Mrs Sackey said the government was, therefore, committed to recruiting and retaining nurses and midwives to enable the country to attain universal health coverage for acceptable ratio of nurses to patients.