Politics of Sunday, 22 May 2016
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said the Mahama-led administration is bent on worsening the plight of nurses and teachers with its harsh employment policies.
Their comment follows the Ministry of Health’s decision to allow nurses to seek for employment on their own after their training from next year.
The sector minister, Alex Segbefia, revealed that the conventional practice where the Ghana Health Service automatically employed nurses after they graduated from public training institutions will end in 2017.
Responding to these developments in an interview with Citi News, the National Youth Organizer of the NPP, Sammy Awuku, said the governing National Democratic Congress had neglected is commitment to sectors like Health.
“We are convinced that this government is bent on mass entrenchment and again also dereliction of its duty when it comes to some strategic sectors, for instance, the health sector,” he stated.
He explained that this new policy that will require nurses to apply for jobs after school is unfair given how specialized the nursing field is.
Mr. Awuku noted that the employment prospects of the nurses could be bleak because they will find limited employment opportunities owing to the harsh economic conditions.
“In the private sector, people are not employing these nurses because of the general economic conditions in the country so how then do you ask these people to now go and look for their own jobs. This is a complete betrayal.”
Public nurses won’t be bonded to Gov’t from 2017
The Ministry of Health has revealed it will no longer bond nurses who receive their training in public health training institutions.
Starting from the 2017/2018 academic year, new entrant trainee nurses will not be mandated to serve a bond after completion of their training in government funded health training institutions.
Government is on a course to reduce the swelling public sector wage bill in accordance with conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. This is in spite of government’s claim that the IMF agreement was not going to lead to job cuts.
‘We are creating more space to absorb nurses’
On the contrary, President John Dramani Mahama has also indicated that his government has begun processes to absorb more trained nurses who have been rendered redundant following a freeze on public sector employment.
According to the President, more health facilities are being built across the country to absorb the numbers that remain unemployed despite completing their training and national service.
The President however failed to give specific timelines as to when the nurses would be employed.
“We are in the process of recruiting nurses. That is nurses who have come out of the training institutions and so that process is ongoing. Even by virtue of building more health facilities, we are creating more space to absorb them.”