A member of the Health Committee of Parliament and MP for Daffiama/Buie/Issa, Dr. Sebastian Sandaare, has said the primary healthcare system in Ghana would further get deteriorated in terms of access and quality as the 2023 budget woefully failed to provide solutions to the yawning challenges.

According to him, the healthcare system is teetering on the edge of collapse, endangering the lives of millions and compounding a deepening humanitarian crisis.

Dr. Sandaare made these comments in an interview with EXPRESSNEWSGHANA in parliament, on the sideline of the ongoing parliamentary debate on the 2023 Budget presented to parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on Thursday, 24, November 2022.

Critiquing the Budget from his point of view, the lawmaker said despite the challenges bedeviling the health sector, especially the increasing rate of the exodus of health officers and poor quality healthcare, the government appeared to be oblivious to the sector.

He said that many health personnel have left the country for other nations and fear more would leave the shores of Ghana if the government freezes employment in the country.


Dr. Sandaare said, Nurses represent the highest proportion of healthcare workers in Ghana and have played a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic, but if care is not taken more would leave as the budget failed to make tangible provision for the employment of healthcare workers.

He said the pandemic had shed light on multiple vulnerabilities that have impacted the nursing workforce including critical levels of staffing shortages in Ghana and it was expected the government would as a necessity focus on the sector by increasing budgetary allocation to healthcare but that has not been done.

“I think the budget fails to address the critical needs of the country, our healthcare sector needs proper resourcing. for the last few years, we have had an exodus of our health workers, and these are most of the skilled and professional ones if we do not take care, more will be leaving the shores of ghana as the government announces the freezing of employment in the public sector.”

“ the national health insurance scheme is also on the verge of collapsing, patients are been asked to pay for their services, and services providers under this have not received their monies and I fear, things will get worse if we remain the same, “Dr sandaare said.

The MP bemoaned the fact that many health facilities in the country have no medical supplies, especially medicines, gloves, beds, and others of which government should have been concerned.

He questioned the government’s commitment to the health sector, emphasizing that, it was expected the government would seize the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study to improve the industry in readiness for future pandemics, but “ the government is unconcern and Ghanaians are not happy about the quality of services been provided in our public health institutions.”

Dr. Sandaare said the impact of the pandemic on the nursing workforce in Ghana should inform future planning and implementation of sustainable nursing workforce strategies, reiterating that allowing professionally trained nurses to move to other jurisdictions to practice could deal a heavy blow on the country shortly.

In his considered view, If the budget funding for the health sector is not restored quickly, an exodus of healthcare workers may result. Many have remained on the job despite significant personal risks; already some have not been paid for months. Along with the loss of supplies, the cutoff would effectively end healthcare services in the far-reach areas of the country.

ken ofori atta

He further condemned the government for failing to take bold steps to tackle the health problems, warning the freezing of public and civil services employment should not affect the health sector as the gap that the exodus of nurses create would be difficult to fill.

“We are losing personnel, we are losing lives, and the crisis is going to be very, very extensive because those leaving are skilled and well trained that is why their services are demanded in other countries and I pray we would not get to a stage where only the unskilled and untrained persons would be left to take care of Ghanaians,” Dr. Sandaare who is a medical doctor by profession added.

He believed the 2023 budget is completely unrealistic and duplicitously embellished with impractical predictions, a development that confirms fears by economy watchers and investors that this administration is ill-equipped for governance.

Source: expressnewsghana.com

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