Also, the government established an institution dedicated to training nurses. And after graduation, nurses will have to work in the country for a period of five years before moving to another country – if they so desire.
Honestly, this seemed to solve the problem of scarcity of nurses. According to the BBC report, the estimated number of nurses in Ghana at 2104 was about 20,400.
This increase in the number of nurses in Ghana prompted the government to lift the ban on nurses.
Nurses that are yet to complete the 5-year work agreement but desires to travel must pay a fine of 422 Cedis ($650) for each uncompleted year. This is almost an impossible feat for many.
In Ghana, what you earn as a nurse depends on several factors. For nurses working in communities, their salaries depend on whether they are registered or not.
All registered nurses do not earn the same amount of money. Your level of education and qualifications determine what you are paid.
Despite this, on average registered nurses are paid between $3,600 and $4,800 annually. This means a monthly salary of between $300 – $400. Of course, unregistered nurses do not earn this much.
This amount is hardly sufficient due to the steady rise in the cost of living in Ghana. Nurses are forced to take a second job to make ends meet, despite spending hectic fifteen to eighteen hours at work.
Small wonder patients in some Ghanaian hospitals complain about nurses being cranky and unsympathetic.
Though the salary of nurses was reviewed in 2010, the current pay is still yet to be made public and probably yet to be implemented.
Considering the tasking and very sensitive nature of their job and what their counterparts earn in developed countries, the Ghanaian nurses have very plausible reasons to be aggrieved.
Frankly, the Ghanaian government has come a long way in making sure the country has a good supply of ‘diligent’ nurses. However, nurses are still unhappy with their less-than-satisfactory paycheck.
Moreover, the fact that nurses are not fully free to move out of the country to search for greener pasture is quite unfair.
So, the continuous clamour for an increase in salaries by nurses tells us that this problem endures.
Why Do Ghanian Nurses Migrate to the United Kingdom?
In the UK Health Service, new nurses are paid over 21,000 euros annually. Besides, with the possibility of working overtime, you get extra pay, which is a monthly income of about $2,695.
In the year 2004, approximately 700 nurses migrated from Ghana to the UK. With the astounding difference in the paycheck, this is no surprise.
Nurses in specific departments like psychiatry are generally paid more than general nurses. The difference in salaries isn’t much as they all want fatter paychecks and they have been making that known with strike actions.
Some have proposed hourly payment as a way to address the issue by encouraging nurses to work extra hours for more pay whenever they can.