Endeavour to settle unpaid allowances of health interns with immediate effect-NAHSAG charges gov’t

Government has been urged to step in and ensure prompt and urgent settlement of all unpaid allowances of some students who have accepted postings to work under the Ministry of Health in various health facilities within the country as health interns without further delay.

The call has been made by the leadership of the National Health Students Association of Ghana (NAHSAG) to government at a press conference organized to set the record straight on the challenges affecting the group’s membership in the health sector and to demand immediate intervention of government towards amicable resolve of the issues.

Addressing journalists at the conference in Accra on Wednesday June 8, President of NAHSAG, Faustina Aikins lamented the current hardships some of its members (both allied health and some nurses) had to battle for survival over unpaid meagre allowances they have work for as a result of failure on part of government to deliver on its promise. A situation she described as ‘unacceptable’.

“For 9 months after taking up postings, and picking transport to work as the state requires of us, our colleagues are still without payment of their allowances. We do not think this is acceptable”.

In addition, she also raised concerns about government’s inability to post the second batch of 2019 nurses and some allied health practitioners who have completed school since but has not been posted.

She alleged that despite their trust in the system defined by government which logically flows that postings would be done logically and in order of completion of school and service, unfortunately reports available to them indicated that the latter batch of some health students who completed school in 2020 were being posted based on their willingness to pay their way through.

Miss Aikins therefore appealed to the authorities to investigate the matter and ensure that the proper things are done, if found to be true.

Students in nursing training colleges in the country have been battling hardship after anxiously waiting for their training allowances which have not been paid for the past 8 month. In July 220, final year nursing students complained of the delay of their arrears, which they needed to be able to settle their fees. Another 10 months later, students have complained of their unpaid allowance which spans month compounding their woes. The nursing training allowance in arrears according to the NAHSAG span from October 2020 to date.

For his part, the Vice President of NAHSAG, Masubee Baloun Rahim bemoaned the failure of government to restore the payment of nursing trainee allowances, a promise it has drifted away from in recent times.

According to him, the reintroduction of the allowance for nursing student was a piece of welcome news however, the 8 months delay in paying the allowance is having tolls on students’ academic work, concentration, and lives on campus.

Touching on the issues, he said: “As we speak, the first years who are in the various Nursing Training institutions are owed allowances for 3 months. In addition, those in second and third years are owed 9 months arrears of their allowances. What is more, those currently on rotation are being owed 7 month arrears, even after they completed school and have been on rotation since September 2021”.

While describing the situation as equally unacceptable and negatively impacting on the lives of student’s nurses in the country, he quickly appealed to the Ministry of Health to come to the aid of its members and ensure that the arrears are cleared as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Vice President of Ghana Association of Health Trainees Institutions (GAHTI), Teye Jonas Ameko has called on the President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Ministry of Health to intervene and help find lasting solutions to issues confronting health trainees to enhance the welfare of all nurses advance and advance healthcare delivery in the country.

He averred that demonstrations are needless in resolving issues of health trainees including nurses and warned the government to give them listening ears and intervene to constantly deal with all their issues being raised to forestall their plans of hitting the street to demonstrate whenever their demands are not met.

“We are pleading with you, the Ministry of Health and the Presidency to come to our aid else we will hit the streets and nothing can stop us”.

“A hungry nurse on the ward is threat to human life. Nursing is a noble profession therefore nurses should be treated well”, Mr. Ameko added.

Source:Joseph Wemakor

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