Ten medical doctors posted to the Upper East Region in 2021 refused to work in the region.
This is according to the Upper East Regional Health Directorate.
According to the directorate, an acute shortage of medical doctors and specialists in the region is negatively affecting healthcare delivery in the region.
The region has only 42 medical doctors, 721 midwives, 9 specialist doctors and 2 dental doctors serving over one million people in the region.
Speaking at the region’s 2021 annual performance review conference in Bolgatanga, Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, appealed for incentive packages to attract doctors to the region.
“There is acute shortage of critical human resources such as doctors and midwives in the region. Critical health staff required are specialist doctors, medical officers, physician assistants, midwives, laboratory scientists and many support staff.”
“New medical officers and specialists posted to the region feel reluctant or fail to assume duties, while there is also a high attrition rate. The region is perceived as unattractive and there is therefore great difficulty in attracting and retaining critical staff such as doctors, midwives, professional nurses and physician assistants.”
He said a “very worrying situation to note is that, of the 10 medical officers posted to the region in 2021, none reported to work in the region. I hereby call on all concerned partners and stakeholders to ensure incentive packages are put in place to attract and retain doctors and midwives in the region to reduce maternal deaths in the region”.
Dr. Dzotsi stated that, the region recorded 61 COVID-19 deaths out of 1, 734 cumulative cases.
He also bemoaned low turnout for the COVID-19 vaccination exercise, despite massive public education on its benefits.
“The COVID-19 vaccination uptake remains low in the region. The total fully vaccinated stands at 191,264 (23%), and total first dose vaccination stand at 345,845(41.6%). We have adequate COVID-19 vaccines, so let’s all get vaccinated and encourage others to take the vaccine.”