Various unions in the health fraternity have hit the streets of Accra in protest to an offer by government to contract the services of some graduate nurses under the “Heal Ghana” module of the Nation Builders Corps programme launched by President Akufo-Addo on May 1.
Present at the demonstration grounds which started at the Obra spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, were representatives from the Ghana Nursing and Midwives Trainees Association (GNMTA), Physician Assistant Students Association of Ghana (PASSAG), Private Universities Nurses Association of Ghana (PUNAG), University Nursing Students Association of Ghana (UNSAG), Federation of Ghana Medical Laboratory Sciences Students Association of Ghana (FG-MELSA), Coalition of Private Unemployed Nurses (COPUN), Coalition of Degree Allied Health Professionals, Coalition of Unposted Allied Health Professionals and other concerned citizens.
Turnout as reported by Onua FM’s Maxwell Otoo great with the head of the various groups being present.
Speaking to 3new.com, President of Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwifery , Dr. Kwaku Asante Krobea, said the NABCO package does not commensurate with what the labour union has negotiated for the health workers, hence the need to resist it.
“We have made very huge investments as professional associations and a labour union for all nurses and midwives in the training of these professionals and I do not want our labour to be in vain.
“The ultimate is that after they have acquired this unique skills as professional nurses and midwives, they should get employment that is secure with acceptable remunerations as as been negotiated for with government with their salaries and their conditions of service, that I am aware NABCO is not ready to offer,” he pointed out.
He further stated that there is cause to worry considering that the NABCO initiative intends to engage professionals but it’s not prepared to treat them as professionals by paying the right wages and conditions of service.
He maintains that “for us there should be nothing like temporary employment for nurses and midwives” and that the GHS 700 is too small an amount for them. He wants them put on the single spine pay structure.
Dr. Kwaku Asante Krobea said they are ready to engage government further on the matter so as to have their grievances addressed.
The National Health Students’ Association of Ghana (NAHSAG), who are the conveners of the demonstration have described the offer as “modern day slavery” and have galvanized support from other health associations to kick against it.
The associations are demanding for an offer that would engage the services of unemployed graduate nurses and other health workers permanently with better conditions of service, contrary to government’s GHS700 monthly stipends under the Heal Ghana module.
The demonstrators later presented a petition to Deputy Health Minister Tina Mensah to be forwarded to the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia at the Hearts of Oak Park.