Ghanaian health staff under in the United Kingdom’s (UK) National Health Service (NHS) form a major part of service providers in the sector.
2016 figures show that there are 2,289 Ghanaian health staff under the NHS.
The figures rank Ghana the 15th country providing the most human resources to the UK’s NHS.
This is despite the Ghana’s current deficit of health workers.
According to the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, Ghana needs not less than 38, 000 nurses and midwives to reduce the nurses-patient ratio to a bearable figure.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) pegs 40 nurses for every 10,000 patients as an acceptable ration. In Ghana, however, the ratio is 22 nurses for every 10,000 patients.
The WHO also pegs 1 doctor to 1,320 patients. But in Ghana 1 doctor attends to about 10, 450 patients.
Ghana is not the only country suffering from this brain drain. Other African countries are also facing similar challenges. Nigeria contributes 5,040 health workers, South Africa has 1,626 of its health workers in UK and Egypt contributes 887.
In a related development Sierra Leone, which is said to have one of the weakest health systems in the world, contributes 512 workers to the NHS.
Meanwhile, UK nationals contribute 971,878 persons to NHS staff, which range from cleaners to midwives to doctors.
Many have called for the UK to compensate source countries where most of their health workers come from or are trained.
However, the 2010 WHO code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel does not mandate financial compensation for source countries even though it attempts to deal with the brain drain.
Despite these concerns, some of these migrant health workers have risen to the top of their profession.
An example is Ghana’s Cecilia Anim, who has received a CBE, (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by the Queen of England as part of the 2017 New Year Honours list.
Cecilia Anim is the first black President of the Royal College of Nurses. She has occupied this position she since 2014.