The Volta Regional Hospital has honoured 21 members of its staff, including 11 retired ones, for their devotion to duty at an awards ceremony at Ho.
In addition to their citations they received prizes such as gas cookers and bedside fridges.
Some of the nominees who did not win awards were recognized and urged to strive harder because they were potential winners next year.
However, in his welcoming address at the ceremony on Friday, Dr George Acquaye, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital said its status and capacity as a specialist hospital had been seriously challenged by inadequate essential staff.
He said under the circumstances, the hospital which has 16 doctors, instead of 50, could only utilize 160 beds out of the 240 capacity.
There are also 140 nurses instead of the required 237.
Dr Acquaye explained that the Hospital has, therefore, been relying on visiting specialists, such as doctors on contract and those on holiday.
“We also do some bank nursing,” he said.
Dr Acquaye said: “These challenges notwithstanding, the hospital was assessed by the National Health Insurance Authority for accreditation and we were graded A, one of only five in the country.”
Dr Winfred Ofosu, Volta Regional Deputy Director Public Health, urged managements of hospitals in the region to find innovative ways of motivating essential staff to stay and work in the Region and attract others.
He said the propensity for specialists to leave the Region for others continued to be a major challenge undermining health delivery.
Dr Ofosu said there were times when 90 per cent of mails to the Regional Directorate of the Service consisted of applications for transfer out of the Region.
“Staff motivation is an issue for debate,” he stated.
“As a flagship hospital, you are to help salvage the situation,” Dr Ofosu told the Management of the Regional Hospital.
He also urged hospital staff in the Region to encourage their colleagues elsewhere in the country to join them.
Mama Atrato II, Queen of Ho-Dome, who chaired the ceremony, said the awards programme was a remarkable way of motivating staff to stay and work in the Region perceived as lacking in recognition of hard-work and dedication.
Some of the awardees expressed their joy at being honoured saying they did not know that their performances were being appreciated.
They were hopeful that the award scheme would be sustained to constantly challenge the workforce to give of their best despite the challenges confronting them. GNA