The Minority has called on government to, as a matter of urgency, withdraw a directive to nursing training institutions in the country to reserve 30 per cent admission quota for the 2022/2023 academic year for the Ministry of Health.
According to the caucus, the directive only magnifies the “unbridled corruption” that has characterised admissions into government institutions, including the Ghana Police Service and the Military, under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo- led government.
A letter dated August 2, 2022 and signed by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, apart from the admission quota, also directed the institutions to charge GH¢150 per a prospective student scheduled for interview and issue a general counterfoil receipt to the interviewees.
The letter sighted by the Ghanaian Times further directed that 34 per cent of the proceeds from the interview be deposited into the health training institutions account at the Bank of Ghana.
“We see this new directive as an attempt by government to clear a path that makes room for protocol admissions of party apparatchiks, candidates with deep pockets and those, who under normal circumstances will not gain admission to get access to these training colleges.
“This we believe is a recipe for the unbridled corruption that has recently characterised all admissions into government institutions be it the police service, military recruitment, teacher training schools and now nursing training colleges.
“Certainly, this must not be allowed to continue,” Minority spokesperson on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, told journalists in Accra, yesterday.
Mr Akandoh, MP, Juaboso, said what made the issue worse was the decision by government to restrict the institutions to admit only 50 per cent of their capacities because of a political pledge to pay nursing training allowances.
“These restrictions on intake into nursing training colleges smack of policy incoherence and pure insensitivity. How can government claim to be improving access to nursing training by giving training allowances and on the other hand institute restrictive quotas to reduce same admission by 50 per cent?
“Again, is it not insensitivity to implement a free SHS policy that is expected to increase SHS [intake] and then restrict [their] access to tertiary education in nursing training colleges?” he asked.
Mr Akandoh alleged that despite riding to political power to pay nursing trading allowances, the government has stopped paying the allowances.
He asked government to go by “the principals of the nursing training institutions to have two streams of students – allowance-receiving and non-allowance-receiving students – if payment of allowances is becoming a challenge.”
With over 3,000 nurses and midwives having left the country for greener pastures, as of June, 2022, as reported by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, Mr Akandoh said this was not the time for restrictions on the intake of students.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI