Unemployed nurses to picket at Jubilee House on Oct 29

Mr Obour Daniel ( middle) addressing the press conference. With him are  Mr Bright Bell (left) and Mr Ayibasu Michael. Photo Michael Ayeh

Mr Obour Daniel ( middle) addressing the press conference. With him are Mr Bright Bell (left) and Mr Ayibasu Michael. Photo Michael Ayeh

More  than  8,000  unemployed  bonded  nurses and  midwives  and allied health graduates have decided to  picket  at  the Jubilee  House  on  October  29  to their demand for financial  clearance  and  postings.

The number is made up of 7,850 graduate nurses and midwives and 700 allied health graduates.

The president of the Coalition of Unemployed Bonded Nurses and Midwives, Mr Daniel Obourm, said the action was to draw President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s attention to use his office to get them cleared and posted immediately.

Mr Obour announced yesterday at a press conference held in Accra to express their predicament to the government and Ghanaians at large.

He  said, on September  10  this year, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu,  at  the mid-year  review  programme of the  Nurses and Midwifery  Council  said the ministry had received clearance  for the recruitment of bonded nurses  and midwives.

But ,  he  stated that checks by the coalition  with  the  Human Resource  Department and  the Executive  Director, Health Institution Secretariat  at the Ministry of Health indicated that  there  was no clearance  for bonded nurses and  midwives.

Mr Obour said “there is no clearance for bonded nurses and midwives, as was reported.”

According to Mr Obour, some of his colleagues were now into menial jobs such as head porting, shop keeping, as security men and as bus drivers for survival.

“We cannot be employed by any private health firm because of the bond we took otherwise government will take legal action against us in breach of the bond we took.

“Per the requirements of the bond, we are to serve the government of Ghana for a period of five years immediately after completion of training and in case of default would have to pay the full bond sum which was equivalent to the cost of training including allowances, all salaries received during the period, revised for inflation and currency fluctuations plus compound interest at the prevailing interest rate,” he stated.

Mr Obour said the knowledge and skills gained during the period of training was not being utilised adding that “we are not able to further our education.”

The president of  the Coalition of Allied  Health Graduates(COHAG),  Mr Bright Bell  said the fate of the 2016 batch of  allied health  graduates  remained unknown  after several failed promises  and reassurances  from the government.

He said “this is gradually turning into the longest  period of unemployment  seen by the health sector,” stating that  retired  staff of 2017 and 2018 in various health facilities were yet to be replaced, creating a human resource  deficit in the health sector.

“This has also contributed greatly to the ‘no bed’ mantra and working staff are forced to forfeit their study  and annual leaves  as personnel to patient ratio keeps  deteriorating with time,” he lamented.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU AND DAVID TAKYI

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