Health Ministry denies owing nurses

The Ministry of Health has rejected claims that the government owes members of the Ghana Nurse-Midwife Trainees’ Association eight months’ worth of allowances.

This comes after the National Executive Board (NEB) of the Association called on government to immediately pay trainee nurses who have had to endure eight months without their allowances.

In a statement, the Ghana Nurse-Midwife Trainees’ Association said the nurses need the monies for their upkeep and their fees adding that the allowances which have been halted since June 2020 has made life very difficult for the trainees.

“We wish to establish with conspicuity for the government to recognize that, most parents and guardians appreciating that the Government is paying Trainee Nurses and Midwives allowances have stopped paying fees and giving their wards’ money for upkeep with the notion that they receive allowances on monthly basis.

“One can only imagine what these students have been through for all these eight months without the allowances. Not only that, Trainee Nurses and Midwives who were undergoing Training and currently undergoing their one-year mandatory National Service are also owed month arrears which nothing has been done about it.”

It added, “Moreover, the Ministry of Health in 2019 came out with a directive that students upon reporting to school are expected to pay 60% of total fees before they will be allowed to attend lectures. It is an undeniable fact that students not only from poor backgrounds depend solely on the allowances to pay their fees but due to the failure of the government to do so in that regard, students are psychologically traumatized by the humiliation of just not being in the capacity to pay their tuition bills coupled with the brunt of missing lecture hours.

“All efforts to get the Ministry of Health to pay these allowances have been fruitless upon meetings and calls to their outfit. We are therefore using this medium to bemoan to the Ghanaian populace and Government as well as our parents, guardians to know exactly that allowances for trainees has come to a stalemate since June 2020 and further call on the Government to come clear on this issue on what has necessitated all this delay.”

The Ministry in a response signed by the Chief Director, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, said the claims by the group are not true.

“The attention of the Ministry of Health(MoH) has been drawn to a publication in some traditional and social media platforms about a press release written and circulated by the Ghana Nurse_Midwife Trainees’ Association(GNMTA) alleging non-payment of eight months of Nursing and Midwifery trainee allowances. The Ministry of Health wishes to assure the public that it does not owe any student to the tune of eight months as stated in the press release from GNMTA, neither has the Ministry stopped the payment of trainee allowances to students of government health training institutions” part of the statement reads.

“It added, “The payments are in arrears for three months(April, May and June, 2020) to the 2019/2020 final year students who completed their course in December 2020. The arrears for the 2 cohorts of students as mentioned early are being processed for payment. We, therefore, call students to exercise restraint and wait for the payments to be made soon”.

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