The allowances which were scrapped off by the erstwhile Mahama administration was restored by the Akufo-Addo led administration following a pledge he made ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Addressing parliament on Monday, during the Mid-Year Budget Review, Ken Ofori-Atta revealed that as of June this year the government had fully paid over 51, 000 nurses their allowances as promised.
This, he believed, has resulted in an increase in enrolment of nurses in the various training institutions and production of adequate health personnel to feed both domestic and foreign demands.
“Government has also since 2017, restored the nursing trainee allowances. The first and second quarter allowances for 2019 was paid to a total of 51,000 trainees. As a result of these interventions, we are able to produce enough nurses to meet domestic requirements and deploy some to support other countries. In this regard and in line with the National Human Resource Policy, plans are underway to formalise the migration of nurses to foreign countries beginning with Barbados, United Kingdom amongst others,” the Finance Minister said.
The restoration of the nurses training allowances leading to the increased production of nurses, the Finance Minister observed, has resulted in the improvement of the nurse to patient ratio in Ghana, beating the World Health Organisation’s set standard.
“Mr. Speaker, due to deliberate Government actions to improve the human resource base in the health sector, the nurse to patient ratio in the country has reached 1:839 which is superior to the WHO benchmark of 1:1000” he touted on the floor of the House.
Among the numerous government interventions ensuring a transformation of the health sector and strengthening of the gains being made is the introduction of the drone medical delivery service, the Finance Minister iterated.
He told the gathering of legislators that the project which is so far operating in Eastern and Ashanti Regions, will be extended to the Western and Northern Regions by the end of 2019.
Since the programme began in April 2019, close to 200 drone deliveries have been effected.
“In April this year, the medical drone delivery service to CHPS compounds, health centres and hospitals commenced in Eastern and Ashanti regions and is expected to be extended to the Northern and Western regions by the end of the year. In June 2019 alone, as many as 195 drone deliveries (comprising 44 blood products and 151 medical supplies) were made to various health facilities”
The Finance Minister also insisted several infrastructure projects including construction of polyclinics, health centres, etc are currently underway in several communities within the Greater Accra Region as well as other parts of the country.