A group of nurses calling itself the Coalition of 2019/2020 Rotation Nurses and Midwives say they are giving government up to October 30, 2019, to settle all Six (6), months arrears owed them.
They said they will pour out their anger on government if it fails to engage with them with an agreeable pay plan or settle all the arrears before or on the set date.
The Convener of the group, Fabian Suta said the current situation has made the lives of the nurses unbearable and unable to function efficiently in their line of duty adding that “a hungry nurse is a potential killer”.
“This unfortunate situation of government’s deliberate refusal to pay allowances has left most of personnel with no option than to be harassed and threatened by landlords with ejection for nonpayment of rent. The hardship among us is absolutely excruciating and unbearable. What have we done as citizens to be denied our rightful entitlement?” he quizzed.
Mr. Suta shared these sentiments at a press conference at Wa.
Rotation nurses or midwives are newly qualified health professionals who are obliged to do a mandatory one year national service within the various hospitals across the country. The nurses undertaking the service are entitled to allowances at the end of every month.
The Convener of the group, Fabian Suta at the press conference stated that although they have been at post since April this year, they are yet to receive their allowance for even a month.
Mr. Suta disclosed that on September 25, this year, his counterparts in Accra visited the Ministry of Health and were presented with what he termed false document purporting to be a notice of financial clearance by the Human Resource (HR) Department of the Ministry claiming that “a total of 8062 nurses and midwives have been cleared across the country”.
The group questioned why the HR Department said that “the financial clearance will not be made public and that it would not even be sent to the various Human Resource Officers at the Regional, Municipal and district levels” when that has not always been standard practice.
The nurses and midwives also quizzed the Ministry of Health as why the amount allocated for the health interns under the 2019 single spine structure for the health system “was not captured in the said financial clearance document”.
The Convener said the consequences of the hardship on the lives and profession of the nurses and midwives cannot be understated hence the need for government to take swift actions to alleviate their pain. He urged government to speed up the process of generating Staff IDs and biometric registration for the nurses and midwives and release payment.
Mr. Suta hoped that government would “ensure that the agencies responsible for the payment of the rotation nurses and midwives are fair and transparent in the delivery of their duties”. He also called on government to speed up the process of generating their staff IDs and biometric registration while ensuring that “all arrears are paid not later than October 30, with reference to the 2019 single spine salary structure for (diploma) health interns”.
Mr. Suta however, urged the rotation nurses and midwives to remain calm while they continue to execute their duties with excellence as leadership engages with government to get what is due them.
Story filed by Mark Smith