The acting Western Regional Health Director, Dr Kwaku Anin Karikari, has appealed to the Ghana Health Service to consider converting  post-diploma nursing courses into degrees.

He said this would motivate students to upgrade themselves in their chosen profession.

He said the health sector is currently confronted with inadequate critical staff to render quality health services to the increasing population, hence the need to convert professional courses into degrees.

Dr Karikari said this at the Annual Performance Review meeting of the Western Region Health Service held in Takoradi.

The event which was on the theme, ?Strengthening District and Sub-district Health Management System for Efficient Health Service Delivery?, provides an opportunity for health care providers in the Region to dispassionately assess their performance last year, evaluate challenges and strategies for the coming years.

He said 311 critical health workers in the Region would retire by the end of 2015 and this would put pressure on the remaining health personnel and could affect quality health delivery in the Region.

Dr Karikari said workers due for retirement in the next two years include 85 enrolled nurses, 59 midwives,23 general nurses, five community health nurses, five pharmacy technicians, two medical doctors, one dental surgeon and 128 other health professionals.

At the end the two-day review meeting, participants at the event s identified some challenges confronting the sector that needed urgent attention.

These they said include inadequate vehicles in the various districts health directorates, poor logistics management at all levels of service delivery, delayed re-imbursement from the National Health Insurance to service providers and huge indebtedness of health facilities to regional medical stores.

Others were insufficient number of critical staff, poor staff attitude towards patients, improper staff attitude to work, inadequate critical equipment, many stalled projects and strengthening the collaboration between clinical care and public health.

The rest were strengthening sub-district health systems, improving financial management at health institutions and strengthening disease surveillance.

The Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, in a speech read on his behalf pledged government?s commitment to support the health sector to deliver quality health care.

He said government would continue to work on existing health projects in the Region to improve infrastructure in the health sector.

The Regional Minister commended the health workers for their invaluable contribution to the society and urged them maintain the momentum in that regard.

Source: GNA

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