Government says it has spent a whopping 198,200,000 cedis in paying allowances of trainee nurses in public institutions across the country from September last year to June this year.
Each trainee nurse, the government said, received 400 cedis every 10 months in each academic year to support their academic and clinical work.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday said government last Thursday released money for the payment of “final part” of the allowance for the 2018/2019 academic year.
“In all, the government has released a total of 198,200,000 from September 2018 to June 2019 to pay all trainees public health training institutions,” the statement said.
It explained the payment of the allowance “is in fulfilment of the government’s commitment to the restoration of the nursing trainees allowance in 2017”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry said it is working assiduously to ensure that trainees, who could not receive their allowance due to challenges with their Ezwich cards, are paid immediately.
“Trainees who may have any other challenges with the payment of the allowances are kindly advised to contact the heads of their schools for redress.
The John Mahama-led government in 2014 scrapped the teacher trainee allowance to be replaced with the student loan scheme, a move that received backlash from teacher unions and trainees across the country.
Mr Mahama justified the decision and vowed to even lose the 2016 election on principle than to restore the allowance.
“The problem with this allowance was that apart from the huge cost implication for the national budget, it also compelled government over the years to scale down the number of students entering into the colleges of education, through the imposition of what we call the quota system,” Mr Mahama said in May 2016.
But the then candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, promised to restore the allowance.
In fulfillment of the promise, the government announced in August 2017 that it will from October that year begin giving each trainee GH¢400, from which GH¢196 will used to pay for trainees’ utilities.