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The Great Health Service Swindle

Life 5 - The Great Health Service Swindle
For over forty years there's been a trickle of Ghanaian nurses to the English-speaking developed world. One widely quoted source says almost two thousand nurses left the country between 1995 and 2002. The exodus is set to continue as nurses opt to leave a crumbling health system to earn more abroad. In the UK, some nurses can earn more in a day than they could in a month back home.

Spending on health in Ghana has gone up but its value has declined. In 1990 it was $4.5 dollars per person per year. In 2004 the figure was $13.4 dollars. However, inflation means that Ghana is spending less in real terms per person. Most of that money goes to wages. For almost everything else, patients have to pay because the health service operates on a 'user pays' principle, the so-called 'cash and carry' system. The stresses of this system is one reason health workers leave.