General News of Tuesday, 1 January 2019
Unemployed bonded nurses and midwives in the country are still distraught over government’s failure to give them financial clearance for permanent employment.
This comes after the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, promised in September 2018 that the unemployed bonded nurses and midwives will receive their appointment letters by the end of 2018.
But as at 1st January 2019, the affected health workers say they are yet to receive their clearance.
The immediate past president of the Ghana Nurses and Midwifery Trainees Association, Batiah Santi, said the current situation indicates that the ministry only deceived them with the promises.
“As it stands now, I will say it was just a statement the Minister of Health put across to keep our nerves calm. No clearance has been given or it is there to prove so it is a lie and for that matter, we say that it is just the reassurances that the Minister gives to us. This traumatizes the unemployed nurses and midwives. In a whole year, no single nurse or midwife has been employed at all. Our recent follow up was last Thursday, and there is still no clearance for us. When other groups go to Ministry they are given empty reassurances. We now have two batches behind us also waiting for clearance,” he said.
Following a series of protests by the bonded nurses and midwives over government’s inability to offer them employment, the Minister of Health, Kweku Agyeman Manu stated at the mid-year performance review of the Nursing and Midwifery Council 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,” he said.
But that appears not to have happened.
The unemployed bonded nurses and midwives are not the only health group that has been protesting over unemployment.
Many others have also staged various protests including picketing and sleeping over at the premises of the Health Ministry to demand their postings.
The Ministry has consistently given the excuse that it has not been given clearance to recruit the agitating trainees.