Nurses Picket At Health Ministry

About 200 trainee nurses have pitched camp at the premises of the Ministry of Health (MoH) demanding the suspension of the ban on hiring.

The nurses had been at the premises of the ministry since Monday and had vowed not to vacate the grounds of the ministry until the government’s ban on employment is lifted.

The nurses from across the country clad in red arm bands and gears and with bed sheets and mattresses found their way to the precincts of the Health Ministry, swearing to turn the Health Ministry into their homes if the officials do not lift the ban on employment.

Some of them told DAILY GUIDE that they have been home for well over two years after completion of their service due to the policy to freeze employment in the health sector.

The freeze was part of the conditionality government had to adopt after it went for the IMF bailout in 2014.

The policy required that there will be no employment until or unless there are retirements of some officers at the Health, Education Ministries which appear to be worse hit by the net freeze employment policy.

But the policy is having a debilitating effect on the health sector, particularly on trainee nurses, who have completed their training regime but cannot be employed.

The agitation by the nurses is the first industrial protest Nana Akufo-Addo administration has to contend with after taking over the reins of government on January 7, 2017.

Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu was not around, but the police were around to restore calm.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri