Health Minister Kweku Agyeman-Manu revealed on the floor of parliament on Monday, 5 December 2022, during a discussion of the 2023 budget, that each nurse Ghana sends to the United Kingdom would likely earn the West African nation £1,000.
Already, Ghanaian nurses are being dispatched to Barbados in accordance with a previous arrangement between the two nations.
“As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, we have begun sending nurses abroad on a bilateral basis, and the agreement we signed with Barbados has resulted in the deployment of the second cohort of nurses to Barbados. Why would they come for both, Mr. Speaker? Mr. Agyeman-Manu said that the fact that patients in Barbados are seeking Ghanaian nurses to remain at their bedside is a positive development.
“We are in discussions with the government of the United Kingdom, and we are on the verge of signing a memorandum of understanding, pending Cabinet approval, to begin sending nurses, including certificate nurses, to the United Kingdom for training and to work there for three years before returning home,” he told the house.
“And, as a result of these nurses, Ghana will get a little amount of money from the UK government,” he said, explaining: “For every single nurse who leaves Ghana, we will likely receive £1,000 to help our health system when the deal is finalised.”
Aboard Thursday, July 30, 2020, 95 Ghanaian nurses (49 women and 46 men) came in Barbados on a chartered Azores Airlines aircraft for a two-year contract.
They intended to aid the healthcare system of the Caribbean nation.
The Prime Minister of the island nation, Mia Motley, stated in March 2022, during Ghana’s 65th independence anniversary in the Central Region, where she was the guest of honour, “I stand on your Independence Day to thank the people of Ghana for being able to support us in our need for nurses, with the first 95 nurses having left for Barbados in July 2020.”
“We thank you, the government of the people of Ghana, for that most generous gesture, and we are elated that they have made a tremendous impact on our public healthcare system; so much so that we have just completed an interview for another 200 nurses to come to Barbados in the near future,” she added.
In November 2019, the Foreign Ministers of Ghana and Barbados, on behalf of their respective governments and peoples, signed an agreement for the recruitment of 120 nurses from Ghana to supplement the island nation’s staffing requirements.
The agreement was signed at Ghana’s Jubilee House on November 15, 2019 during the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley’s official visit to Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The purpose of the agreement is to establish a framework for the provision of nurses from the Republic of Ghana to Barbados, taking into account Barbados’ existing commitment to internationally accepted workforce policies and practises, as well as the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Code of Ethics for nurses.
The scope of services and obligations includes Ghana supplying Barbados with registered nurses with the agreed-upon degree of skill, and Barbados providing Ghanaian nurses with safe and secure working circumstances for professional practise, as well as medical care when necessary.
The compensation is equivalent with the terms and conditions of local registered nurses in Barbados. Barbados will also give professional assistance to Ghanaian nurses so they can comply with the Nursing Council of Barbados’ norms and regulations.
Interviews were conducted with a total of 150 finalists, out of whom 120 were to be selected.
The qualifying nurses have at least three years of experience in critical care, cardiac catheterization, the emergency department, the operating room, and ophthalmology.
On 15 June 2019, during an official visit to Barbados, as part of events to promote the designation of 2019 as the Year of Return, President Akufo-Addo agreed in principle to Prime Minister Mottley’s proposal to deploy nurses to work in a variety of medical institutions in Barbados.
As a result of the bilateral discussions and Barbados’ acute nursing shortage, the Prime Minister of Barbados stated at a press conference that “we have indicated that we are searching for just under 400 nurses, which is not a small number, and we truly believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for cooperation between our two countries.”
In addition, she said that there was an original pledge to protect the nurses and give collaborative education programmes in the future, all in an effort to safeguard the healthcare sector of Barbados.
President Akufo-Addo said, “We have a surplus of nurses in Ghana, and it is one of my difficulties to place them all in our public health system. Since many years ago, we have been unable to use the large number of nurses who have been created.
He said, “Therefore, I am returning. I will return to Accra on Monday, and the following week the Prime Minister will hear from me on the nurses.”
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