The effect of brain drain on Ghana Health Sector: a case study of Kumasi South Hospital-Agogo

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The health sector "brain drain" on Africa continent has been described as rich countries "looting" doctors and nurses from developing countries undermining their health systems public health and developmental process. However this "brain-drain" might also be seen as a success in the training and "export" of health professionals and the benefits this provides. This project illustrates the arguments and possible policy options by focusing on the situation at Kumasi South Hospital-Agogo. Discussion Many see this "brain drain" of medical staff as wrong with developed countries exploiting poorer ones. The effects are considerable with Ghana facing high vacancy rates in its public health system, and with migration threatening to outstrip training despite efforts to improve pay and conditions of health workers. This shortage of staff has made it more challenging for Ghana to deliver on its "essential health package" and to absorb new international health funding. Yet, without any policy effort, Ghana has been able to demonstrate its global competitiveness in the training ("production") of skilled health professionals. Remittances from migration are a large and growing source of foreign exchange for poor countries and tend to go directly to households. Ghana can benefit from the export of health professionals provided there is a resolution of the situation whereby the state pays for training and the benefits are gained by the individual professional working abroad. Solutions include migrating staff paying back training costs, or rich host governments remitting part of a tax (e.g. income or national insurance) to the Ghana government. Summary There is concern about the negative impacts of the medical "brain-drain". However a closer look at the evidence for and against the medical "brain-drain" in Ghana suggests that there are potential gains in managing medical migration to produce outcomes that are beneficial to individuals, households and the country. Finally the researcher has presented several policy options  
A long essay presented to Department of Management Science Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master in Business Administration, 2007