Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister of Tourism, on Saturday observed that health was fast becoming a tourist product in Ghana.
She said recent research indicated that health was the sixth reason for which people came to Ghana, aside visits to historical, tourist and cultural sites and the fact that foreigners were in to attend conferences among others.
Mrs Azumah-Mensah made the observation at a durbar to climax a joint Students Representative Council (SRC) Week celebration of the Ho Nurses Training College and the Community Health Nurses Training School, organised under the theme, “Creating Wealth through Health, The role of the 21 Century Nurse,” in Ho.
The Minister said foreigners came in large numbers to Ghana to seek various health services, including surgical operations, orthodox medicine, herbal medicinal practice, fertility and physiotherapy treatment among others.
She said “others come for the life-giving sunshine while many more come for our healthy mountain air in the Akuapem ridge and Amedzope Mountain.”
Mrs Azumah-Mensah, a nurse by profession, urged student nurses to consider themselves as working in a very dynamic environment which should build their confidence and professionalism.
She said nursing was important to the socio-economic development of the country and urged practitioners to work harder and protect the reputation of the profession.
Mrs Azumah-Mensah advised them to be guided by the code of ethics of the profession and render services with smile to give hope to patients.
She urged them to practice “empathy in health psychology” and put themselves in the mind of the sick person to try to feel they way the sick person feels to enable them to have sympathy to be able to help alleviate pains of patients.
Mrs Azumah-Mensah reminded nurses that their profession involved a lot of sacrifices and they should play their role as caregivers effectively to attract more tourists to the country.
Mr Emmanuel Darlington Adorbley, SRC President of the Nursing Training College, said though the educational institution was noted for its good academic performances, it lacked many facilities including inadequate hostel.
He said a hostel built in 1965 to house 80 students now housed 280 students out of the student population of 986 with the rest having to look for their own accommodation.
Mr Adorbley also complained of lack of security and street lights in and around the school, exposing students to thieves and criminals.
The SRC President also lamented about inadequate allowances being paid to student nurses and appealed to government to address those issues.