The Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has urged trainee nurses to accept government’s replacement of their allowances with student loans, in good faith, since the policy is in the national interest.
“The government wants the best for trainee nurses and the nursing profession in general, and will not introduce policies that will harm the trainees.
“We are not anti-nurses,” he stated adding that the various interventions to boost nursing training and the nursing profession, clearly showed the good intentions of the government.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur said this during an interaction with students of the Saviour Church Nursing Training College at Osiem in the Eastern Region, on Saturday, as part of his campaign tour of the region.
Student nurses continue to clamour for the reinstatement of the abolished nurses’ trainee allowance, indicating that it was difficult to access the loans from the Students’ Loan Trust.
But the Vice President urged them to bear with the government and sacrifice a little, since the essence of abolishing of the allowance was to create increased access and enrolment into the nursing training colleges.
He said because the allowance payment regime had created an enrolment quota which restricted the colleges to taking in limited numbers, the government deemed it necessary to remove the allowance so as to expand enrolment.
As part of the replacement of the allowance with the student loan, he said the salaries of nurses had been increased to enable them to comfortably pay off the loans.
In addition, the Vice-President said, the government was investing in more health facilities such as hospitals, polyclinics and Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds to provide ready jobs for graduating trainee nurses.
“We know that people are opposing it not because we are providing increased access to more people into the colleges, but because they are not getting the allowances,” he said.
He commended management of the Saviour Church Nursing Training College for the progress, and gave assurance of government’s continued support.
From Edmund Mingle, Osiem