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Nurses fight move to have them apply for jobs

The Ghana Nurse and Midwife Trainees Association has rejected government’s policy to have trained nurses start applying for jobs from 2018. The group has also kicked against the scrapping of allowances for trainees.

Health Minister Alex Segbefia, at a public sensitisation forum on Friday [May 20], said trainee nurses would no longer enjoy the luxury of assured jobs after graduation, but would rather have to apply and justify their inclusion in the health sector.

According to Mr Segebfia, some trainee nurses do not bother about making good grades since they were assured of jobs after school, a situation he said did not bode well for health delivery, thus the need to have nurses apply for jobs after school just like all other graduates, and be hired based on their performance.

But Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Nurse and Midwife Trainees Association, Gideon Alale, speaking to Class New, said: “The points that nurses are not motivated to make good grades are baseless. … It is trying to undermine the credibility of the regulatory agency of nurses and midwives in the country. Government of Ghana has established an agency, which is supposed to ensure that standards are maintained in training professionally-prepared and ethically-equipped nurses and midwives. Is he trying to tell us that they cannot put measures in place to ensure that the standard of nursing and midwifery in Ghana is raised? We are not people who are going to sit back and just watch this thing go like that. …We are going to follow every diplomatic step to have this issue addressed, but if the government seeks to create deaf ears, which we do not hope will happen, then ultimately the media will hear from us.”

Mr Alale also said the removal of the allowances would be detrimental to the profession, adding that the association would take action against government if the policy is implemented.

“The government is trying to run away from its primary responsibility of paying trainee allowances that go along with the bond. By not bonding the nurses, it means the nurses can leave the country, and the government – because it knows it is not going to have a hand in training these nurses – will do little or nothing to contribute to their training,” he said.

Mr Alale feared if government withdrew from assisting in the training of nurses, very few would be able to afford the training on their own. According to him, “Our training will become so exorbitant to the extent that only few can afford training in this country.”

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