Some members of the private nurses  demonstrating in front of  the Ministry of Health in Accra.Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
Some members of the private nurses demonstrating in front of the Ministry of Health in Accra.Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

Unemployed private nurses picket on MOH premises

Hundreds of trained nurses from private accredited nursing training institutions yesterday besieged the premises of the Ministry of Health (MOH) demanding to be posted to health facilities in the country.

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As early as 9 a.m., the aggrieved nurses who graduated between 2011 and 2017 gathered at the ministry with the resolve to never leave until their grievances were addressed by the minister.

They defied the presence of the police personnel and forced their way on to the premises of the ministry bringing business there to a temporary halt.

Charged atmosphere

Clad in their nursing apparel with red armbands, the nurses rained insults and curses on the authorities for failing to respond to their plight, shouting and chanting phrases such as “fire burn the minister,” “may diarrhoea attack all the staff here,” “if we were your children, will you treat us like this?”

Some of the picketers, including females who had babies strapped to their backs, were spotted with big bags, sponge and coal pot.

The defiant nurses gave the strongest indication that they had resolved to stay at the ministry for as long as the issue of their posting was not addressed by the minister.

Narration

Narrating their case, the General Secretary of the Private Accredited Nurses, Ghana, Mr Emmanuel Nanor, said all attempts by the group to seek redress from the MOH had fallen on the rocks.

“For many years now we have been confronted with the issue of our members not being posted after they have gone through the approved examinations and certification process.”

“It is the MOH that organises and supervises our examinations and certification but after we have toiled to go through the process, they fail to recruit us. As of now, people who qualified for posting since 2011 have still not been employed.”

“We have been discriminated against for far too long. We wrote about 10 letters to the MOH and also wrote a petition to the President, but we have not seen any clear assurance that we will be employed,” he said.

Mr Nanor alleged that the police manhandled their members at the initial stages of the picketing but added that no amount of intimidation would deter them from pressing home their demands. 

MOH response

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the MOH, Mr Robert Cudjoe, expressed reservations about the lack of diligence in the accreditation process for the private nursing training institutions, stressing that the current situation of unemployment after completion could have been avoided if strict processes were followed.

“Whoever gave accreditation to all these private nursing institutions did not do well for this country. I do not know if they were focused on the money they would get from these institutions because you would clearly see that human resource analysis was not done properly.”

“They just left the door open and everyone is training people, some under sub-standard conditions, leaving the government with the headache to recruit them and pay with the limited resources,” he said.

Mr Cudjoe, however, gave an assurance that the minister of health was collaborating with his counterpart in the finance ministry to resolve the issue.

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