Unemployed bonded nurses and midwives will receive their appointment letters by the end of 2018, Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, has indicated.
His assurance follows a series of protests by the bonded nurses and midwives over government’s inability to offer them employment.
Speaking at the mid-year performance review of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Minister indicated that plans are far advanced to ensure the nurses are posted by the end of 2018.
“After pressure, we have got the financial clearance issued and we start looking at how quickly we can put them on payroll. That can be accommodated for this year. I think that by close of year we might have given appointment letters and we might have posted them. What we do not want to do is to post them and then for two months they will go and sit there without salary and then we create salary arrears. We do not want to do that…Now that we have gotten the financial clearance, next two weeks, we will start doing interviews and posting for them to get some job to do.”
Graduate Nurses and midwives have been protesting for sometime now over their postings.
In February 2018, some unemployed graduate nurses demanding posting picketed at the Health Ministry. A similar protest took place in Kumasi just last week.
No money for clearance
In response to the nurses’ demands at the time, a Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah, attributed government’s inability to post them to lack of funds.
She indicated that the nurses will be posted as soon as they get clearance from the Finance Ministry.
NaBCo jobs not compulsory – Coordinator tells agitated nurses
The Coordinator of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), Dr. Ibrahim Anyass, had earlier stated that although there are openings for graduate nurses to be employed under the scheme, application for the jobs is not compulsory.
According to him, the project had been initiated by the government as a stopgap measure to allow graduates from tertiary institutions who had completed their mandatory year of National Service gain vital work experience while ensuring that they continue to practice the skills they have learnt.
He thus explained that that nurses who do not wish to be part of the scheme cannot be forced to apply.
The Members of the Ghana Nurse and Midwives Trainees Association, have served notice they will be embarking on a mass demonstration to protest the NABCO initiative.
Even though the President is optimistic the programme will mostly solve the country’s unemployment situation, the unemployed nurses and midwives have argued that it does not provide job security.
The Public Relations Officer of the Association, Akugri Gadafi, also stated on Eyewitness News that the remuneration package for nurses in the programme is unfair, suggesting that newly-employed certificate nurses earn about 1, 100 cedis, diploma nurses earn about 1, 600 cedis while the degree nurses earn 1, 800 cedis and above, all much higher than the 700 cedis persons employed under the scheme are set to earn.