The Minority in Parliament has said despite the government claiming to have employed 50,000 nurses and midwives in the public sector, the Graduate Unemployed Nurses and Midwives Associations has 41,000 members who are still unemployed.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, 24 October 2019, the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said the huge number of unemployed GUNMA members exposes the government.
“It is, therefore, bewildering that the government that has consistently been claiming to have recruited over 50,000 nurses will be so exposed by the supposed beneficiaries of this recruitments”, Mr Akandoh told the media in his statement captured below in full below:
MINORITY PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION OF GRADUATE UNEMPLOYED NURSES AND MIDWIVES ASSOCIATION (GUNMA)
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the current trend by the government in using the Ghana Police Service to institute the culture of silence by brutalising people who are exercising their democratic rights is highly unacceptable and alarming.
Reference can be made to the brutalities meted out to the demonstrating law students and how the leadership of GUNMA were harassed for asking for jobs they deserve.
The information available to us indicates that the membership of GUNMA is made up of over 41,000 unemployed nurses and midwives currently at home.
Below is the breakdown of the various categories of unemployed nurses we received from their leadership:
Diploma – 2017 August = 9,800
Diploma – 2018 February = 1,500
Certificate – 2017 = 16,000
Certificate – 2018 = 14,000.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is, therefore, bewildering that the government that has consistently been claiming to have recruited over 50,000 nurses will be so exposed by the supposed beneficiaries of this recruitments.
Ladies and Gentleman, the minority wishes to commend the leadership of GUNMA for their patience and deliberate adherent to due process of engagement and negotiation which, unfortunately, failed to address their genuine concerns for which they finally had to resort to picketing the Ministry of Health.
It is instructive to note that this particular group of nurses were not paid their nurse training allowances as promised by President Nana Akufo-Addo while they were in school.
President Nana Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at separate meetings with the nurses, urged them to forfeit their nursing training allowances in lieu of immediate employment.
We, therefore, find it unfortunate that since meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Vice-President and many other meetings held with other government officials, the government has failed to provide the promised immediate employment for which they forfeited their promised training allowances.
We are at this point sympathising with GUNMA, especially the leadership who went through this ordeal.
Ladies and gentlemen, after all the attempt to persuade the government to fulfil its promises failed, they had no option than to resort to picketing the Ministry of Health.
Ladies and gentlemen, the health sector is a very sensitive one and, so, policies and programmes in the sector should be holistic. To be able to employ more nurses and midwives and to provide better health care delivery means expanding the infrastructure in the health sector, hence the investment of over USD1 billion in the health sector by the previous Mahama administration.
We will, therefore, at this point, call on the President to expedite action on the uncompleted and abandoned health facilities littered across the country and also make the already-completed ones fully operational.
This will result in the creation of more vacancies to be able to absorb the unemployed nurses.
Finally, we are appealing to the President to fulfil the promises he made to this group of nurses to give them the immediate employment they deserve.
For: Minority Leader
Kwabena Mintah Akandoh (MP)
Ranking (Select Committee on Health)