President Nana Akufo-Addo’s assertion that nurse assistants who have been employed and commenced work on 1 February 2019 belong to the tranches that passed their exams in 2016, is false, the Coalition of Unemployed Nurses of Ghana, has said.
Delivering his third state of the nation address to parliament on Thursday, 21 February 2019, the president said: “To deliver healthcare to Ghanaians more efficiently, in 2018, the government granted financial clearance for the recruitment of eleven thousand one hundred and eighteen (11,018) health personnel to increase existing clinical staff. To augment the efforts of clinical staff, in September 2018, the Ministry of Health received further financial clearance to employ fourteen thousand five hundred and twenty-four (14,254) Nurse Assistants (Clinical and Preventive). These nurse assistants belong to the tranche that passed their exams in 2016 from Government health training institutions and have commenced work by 1 February 2019. The Ministry of Health is working to obtain financial clearance for the recruitment of the 2017 and 2018 graduates”.
However, in a statement jointly signed by the group’s Convener Paul Selorm, Press Secretary Akugri Rashid and Organiser George Asuah, the coalition said although it appreciates “the good work of the president of the Republic of Ghana for discharging his constitutionally mandated duty by delivering the 2019 state of the nation address to the good people of Ghana”, they are “utterly shocked to our bone marrow hearing the president of the Republic of Ghana, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo telling the whole nation that: ‘The nurse assistants that have been employed belong to the tranches that passed their exams in 2016 from government health training institutions and have commenced work by 1 February 2019’.”
The statement described the statement by the president as a “blatant falsehood which is being peddled by the president and his incompetent informant (Minister of Health)”, and, therefore, placed on record that: “Not even a single nurse from government health training institutions has been employed since 2018 till date.”
According to the coalition, “Those who were employed in January 2017 were given financial clearance by the previous government in December 2016, so, it can be said that the Akufo-Addo-led government has never employed any nurse since they came into office. However, we have received financial clearance Of 8,254 nurse NAC/NAP pending posting and would like to further state that ever since the financial clearance was issued in January 2019, the Ghana Health Services (GHS) has refused to float the posting forms for purchasing and subsequent deployment.”
“If indeed, the Director-General of GHS, together with the Ministry of Health has employed some sections of nurses, we would like to serve notice that those nurses are not trained nurses from government training institutions as the president’s statement has suggested.”
The coalition has, therefore, called on the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services (GHS) “to apologise to all unemployed nurses and their parents for giving wrong information to the president”, as, according to the coalition, the comment “has caused psychological trauma to some of our colleagues due to pressure from friends and family members upon hearing the statement from the president”.
“Our members are still living in a state of a dilemma due to the delay of GHS in releasing the posting form. We are, by this release, calling on the Ghana Health Services (GHS) to do the needful thing by making the posting form available for members to ease the pressure on the leadership and members as well.”