The Coalition of Unpaid Nurses and Midwives–Ghana has asked the government to pay them all their accumulated salaries and outstanding arrears by August 23, or they would be compelled to take an action which may hinder health delivery in the country.
They have also asked government to post their junior colleague nurses and midwives before the said time in order to close the nurse-to-population gap to ensure quality health care in Ghana.
A press statement signed by Mr. Douglas Adu-Fokuo, Greater Accra Regional Co-ordinator of the Coalition, said nurses who were employed by government across the country from 2013 to 2015, had not been paid their salaries for between six to 14 months and beyond.
The present nurse-to-patient ratio in Ghana, it said, exerted much workload on the nurses, and therefore affected the effectiveness of the care they delivered.
The nurse-to-population ratio was one nurse to 1,084 as at 2013, according to the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda GSGDA 2010-2013 Annual Progress Report 2013.
The Coalition comprises aggrieved Registered Nurses (RGN), Registered Midwives (RM), Registered Mental Nurses (RMN), Registered Community Nurses (RCN), Enrolled Nurses (EN) Health Assistants, and Certified Community Nurses (CCN).
The statement said some of the nurses and midwives had been paid for three months, while others had not been paid at all, adding: “If indeed we want nurses to smile with patients, government should ensure that the right thing is done to put smiles on the faces of nurses and midwives; and there will be a change in the nurse-to-patient relationship.”
The Coalition said they loved their patients and felt bad “any time government’s bad policies and directives forced them to leave their innocent patients.”
“We have sacrificed enough to the extent that loan agencies are now chasing and threatening to arrest us for our failure to refund the loans we secured for our accommodation and transportation to care for patients,” it added.
By Linda Aryeetey