Trained unemployed health professionals in the country, mostly nurses and midwives, have given the government a two-week ultimatum to issue a financial clearance for their immediate employment.
The aggrieved nurses hit the streets of Accra Monday to protest government’s intention to enroll them onto the Nation Builders Corps say the government should rather concentrate on getting them permanent employment.
A petition setting out the reasons for the rejection of the HEAL Ghana component of the programme has been presented to Deputy Health Minister Tina Mensah to be forwarded to Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The Heal Ghana component of the programme seeks to engage trained nurses and midwives to ensure health professionals keep their skills sharp while awaiting permanent employment.
However, the unemployed health professionals say the move by government to put them on the programme was unconstitutional citing Article 24 to back their argument.
It is “unconstitutional to employ nurses and midwives and pay them less for same work done by their colleagues previously employed by the ministry of health,” they said.
Though they held the programme being introduced by the government as part of moves to solve the country’s unemployment was good, the Heal Ghana component for health professionals was unacceptable.
To them, the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, hence urging the government to shelve the idea and consider “releasing financial clearance immediately” to engage them permanently.
Meanwhile, their decision to reject the programme is being backed by the Ghana Registered Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association (GRNMA).
President of the GRNMA, Kwaku Asante Krobea who joined the protest Monday said the trained health professionals “should get employment that is secured with acceptable recognition as has been negotiated for with government with their salaries and conditions of services.”
“700 cedis for me, is a pittance,” he said, adding that is not the remuneration the professional association negotiated for.”
He said the GRNMA has informed government about it stance on the matter and asked that a lot more dialogue is initiated because what the programme is proposing for the professionals was unacceptable.