The Ghana Health Service (GHS), has hinted of a complete ban on postings of all health workers beginning next year as part of efforts to address the brain drain currently facing the sector.
Thus, personnel who seek to work with the service would have to directly apply for vacancies as advertised in the various regions and go through all required processes to be employed when the directive takes effect.
The Director General (DG) of the GHS, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare gave the indication in a speech read on his behalf at the maiden congregation of degree students of the School of Peri-Operatives and Critical Care Nursing of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).
The ceremony which was on the theme, 'Confronting the challenge of healthcare with nursing specialisation: Projecting peri-operative and critical care', saw the graduation of about 100 students in both specialised fields.
The GHS, according to the DG "will be giving recruitment quotas to the regions and health facilities to advertise and manage the recruitment processes so that health officers who have received financial clearance will have to go to their preferred regions and compete for the available slots.
The GHS will no longer post health workers from its headquarters".
Dr. Nsiah-Asare said the service was currently conducting a comprehensive human resource gap analysis in health facilities across the country to guide recruitment and redeployment processes while tracking workers' availability in the service.
"We are also developing a deprived area retention scheme which will provide the necessary support to enable staff accept the challenge of working in under-served areas," he added.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare, deploring the numerous threats confronting the health sector which could stifle Ghana's quest to attain universal health coverage vowed to do all within his power to "provide the needed platform and solid foundation for a resilient and sustainable health system".
He charged the school to focus not only on the "production of graduates" but develop mechanisms to follow up on their students,and continuously monitor and mentor them to achieve excellence in their respective fields.
Congratulating the graduands, Dr. Nsiah-Asare urged them to exhibit good character particularly trust and respect, high professionalism and commitment to the provision of quality and accessible healthcare delivery.
"I also call on you to accept the challenge of serving Ghanaians in the deprived and underserved areas where your services are most needed. Do not underestimate the impact you can make, either on individual patient, their family or on the sector as a whole," he advised.
The Principal of the school, Dr. Kwaku Asante-Krobea opined that it was high time the health sector moved away from relying on basic skills to more specialised skills to achieve appreciable universal health coverage.
He appealed to government to invest in the operations of Nursing and Midwifery in the country as they constituted 75 per cent of the health workforce and their contributions had far reaching impact on "promoting health and strengthening local economies".
Touching on some challenges facing the school, Dr. Asante-Krobea pleaded with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to come to their aid to expand existing infrastructure and provide needed logistics to promote effective teaching and learning activities.
Mrs. Cynthia Dzordzorme, the Head of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Training Unit of the MOH, reading a speech on behalf of Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah observed the importance of specialties in shaping the country's health system.
She pledged the Ministry's commitment to adopt innovative strategies to sustain gains made in the sector and improve performance, urging graduands to also show high commitment to meet the expectations of patients as they commenced practice.
Special awards were given to deserving students who distinguished themselves in their four-year study with the overall best students' award in Critical Care Nursing and Peri-Operative going to Cecilia Asiamah Yeboah and Mallet Kojo Gborgblorvor respectively.