Home » Mahama’s Plan to Export Nurses Sparks Debate

Mahama’s Plan to Export Nurses Sparks Debate

by Motoni Olodun

Former Ghanaian president John Mahama has stirred controversy with his proposal to export nurses and other health workers to address unemployment in the sector. Mahama, who is the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), made the suggestion during his recent visit to the Savannah Region, where he discussed strategies to tackle unemployment among healthcare professionals.

According to Mahama, he would establish a dedicated unit within the Ministry of Employment that would recruit nurses who meet the necessary qualifications for overseas employment. This unit would facilitate agreements with other countries to deploy Ghanaian nurses on fixed-term contracts.

“We want to increase the production of health workers and nurses and we will employ them to work for us as many as we can but at the same time, we will sign agreements with other countries where we can post our nurses to go and work on fixed contracts,” Mahama said.

The proposal aims to provide employment opportunities for nurses while also addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals in other countries. Mahama said that by leveraging international partnerships, he seeks to create avenues for skilled nurses to contribute to healthcare systems globally while also benefiting from gainful employment.

However, Mahama’s plan has been met with criticism from some quarters, who argue that it would deprive Ghana of its own health workforce and undermine the quality of healthcare delivery in the country. They also question the feasibility and sustainability of the plan, given the challenges of securing visas, work permits, and fair wages for the nurses abroad.

Some critics have also accused Mahama of being insensitive to the plight of the nurses, who have been struggling with poor working conditions, low salaries, and lack of incentives in Ghana. They have called on Mahama to focus on improving the health sector in Ghana rather than exporting its human resources.

On the other hand, some supporters of Mahama’s plan have praised it as a pragmatic and innovative solution to the problem of unemployment among health workers, especially nurses. They have pointed out that many nurses have been leaving Ghana voluntarily to seek better opportunities abroad, and that Mahama’s plan would formalize and regulate this process. They have also argued that the plan would generate foreign exchange for the country and enhance the skills and experience of the nurses.

Mahama’s plan to export nurses is part of his broader vision to transform Ghana’s economy and create jobs for the youth. Mahama, who lost the 2020 presidential election to incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo, is seeking a comeback in the 2024 polls. He has promised to implement various policies and programs to revive the economy, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

As Ghana prepares for the next election, Mahama’s plan to export nurses is likely to remain a contentious issue that will spark debate among the public and the stakeholders in the health sector. Whether the plan will win him more votes or cost him support remains to be seen.

The article ends on a hopeful note by stating that Mahama’s plan is part of his broader vision to transform Ghana’s economy and create jobs for the youth.

Source: Graphic Online

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