Over 200 graduate nurses staged a protest today [Wednesday], to compel government to release their financial clearance for their postings.
The protesters are joining their counterparts in other regions to get government to address their concerns.
The protesting nurses who initially converged on the Kumasi Jubilee Park marched through some principal streets of the metropolis.
They are expected to wrap up at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council where a petition will be submitted to the Ashanti Regional Minister for onward submission to Government.
One graduate nurse who spoke to Citi News said: “There are a whole lot of issues in the Ashanti Region. There have been a series of dialogue. In fact, from last year  till now, we have done that, but we have heard nothing from government so we are here to demonstrate and submit the letter to the President.”
Another said: “I think this government has been giving us assurances that have not resulted in positive results. We are pleading the government to release our financial clearance today or tomorrow so that we will end the issue.
Otherwise we will organize another walk and we will end the demonstration at the Jubilee House. We believe the President is a listening President and he will be willing to address our concerns.”
Graduate Nurses have been protesting for some time now over their postings.
In February 2018, some unemployed graduate nurses demanding posting picketed at the Health Ministry.
No money for clearance
In response to the nurses’ demands, a Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah, attributed government’s inability to post them to lack of funds.
She indicated that the nurses will be posted as soon as they get clearance from the Finance Ministry.
“We never had the clearance. When there is clearance in payment then you have to introduce the people, alert them and push them to do whatever they have to do. When the money is available you can clear them,” she said.
NaBCo jobs not compulsory – Coordinator tells agitated nurses
The Coordinator of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo), Dr. Ibrahim Anyass, has stated that although there are openings for graduate nurses to be employed under the scheme, application for the jobs is not compulsory.
According to him, the project had been initiated by the government as a stopgap measure to allow graduates from tertiary institutions who had completed their mandatory year of National Service gain vital work experience while ensuring that they continue to practice the skills they have learnt.
He thus explained that that nurses who do not wish to be part of the scheme cannot be forced to apply.
The Members of the Ghana Nurse and Midwives Trainees Association, have served notice they will be embarking on a mass demonstration to protest the NABCO initiative.
Even though the President is optimistic the programme will mostly solve the country’s unemployment situation, the unemployed nurses and midwives have argued that it does not provide job security.
The Public Relations Officer of the Association, Akugri Gadafi, also stated on Eyewitness News that the remuneration package for nurses in the programme is unfair, suggesting that newly-employed certificate nurses earn about 1, 100 cedis, diploma nurses earn about 1, 600 cedis while the degree nurses earn 1, 800 cedis and above, all much higher than the 700 cedis persons employed under the scheme are set to earn.