One of the biggest challenges confronting the health sector is the refusal of health personnel to accept postings to rural areas of the country.
Many health facilities across the country are facing shortage of health personnel because they have refused to be posted to rural areas and prefer to work in urban centres.
Admittedly, shortage of highly skilled health workers is not only a rural issue but also a national one.
As a matter of fact, across the world, distribution of health workers is skewed towards urban and wealthier areas.
This is evident in nearly every country in the world, but the problem is more acute in developing countries.
Honestly, there are multiple factors influencing a health worker’s decision to refuse posting to rural or remote areas. They include social, political and economic environment.
The above factors are said to be complicating healthcare delivery in the Tain District of Bono Region, leading to a number of completed health facilities being left unused.
According to a story carried yesterday on the back page of the Ghanaian Times, the poor road network, difficult access to services like telecommunication network and electricity have made the area unattractive for health personnel, particularly nurses to accept postings to the area.
As a result, four fully equipped clinics with furnished accommodation and mechanised boreholes at Tainso, Njau, Teadene and Tanokrom in the Bono Region have been left unused a year after they have been completed.
They were constructed by a German-based charity non-governmental organisation, ‘Madamfo Ghana.’
Three other Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compounds at Yabraso, Akore and Dagadu have also been left to rot.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Tain, Charity Akua Foriwaa Dwommoh, who disclosed this, said the situation was defeating efforts of the assembly and development partners to provide health facilities for underserved communities.
Although we agree with the DCE, we do not think her lamentation is enough to resolve the challenges the health workers have cited for not accepting postings to those facility.
It is our view that it is the duty of the assembly as well as the community to create the conducive atmosphere for the health workers to accept to work in rural settings.
We cannot accept that the assemblies who are supposed to be the local government in the communities would throw their hands in the air in despair when they are confronted with matters they are expected to resolve.
We are not at all surprised at the posture of the Tain District Assembly as health staff shortages in the healthcare system are persistent problems facing not only rural communities but the entire country.
We, however, expect that the assembly would confront the problem head-on and create a comfortable condition for the health workers to accept postings to the area. We cannot continue to complain about the problem and allow the health facilities to lie idle.