Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has disclosed that the quota system for admission into the country’s nursing and midwifery training colleges is nothing new and, therefore, should not be politicised.
The minister, who said this in a response to a question on the floor of parliament by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bia West, Dr Augustine Tawiah, on Friday explained the rationale for the implementation of the quota system. He disclosed that it is to leverage admissions into the various health training institutions to get the requisite skill-mix in the right numbers in the health institutions and also address the equity imbalance.
The NDC MP for Bia West had filed an urgent question in parliament wanting to find out whether the ministry has established admission quotas for nursing and midwifery training colleges for the 2017/2018 academic year.
The minister told parliament that the ministry in coming out with the 2017 quota for the training institutions collaborated with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, including major stakeholders in arriving at the decision.
“Each training institution was looked at vis-à-vis the number of tutors available, number of classrooms, equipment for clinical (practicals, courses offered as well as other considerations,” he said, adding that the various categories of health profession were also critically looked at in terms of the number in the system currently and based on scientific analysis with the help of ‘an analysis’ software the quota was given to individual institutions.
He said even though the met admissions decreased marginally as compared to last year, it cannot to be attributed to the promise by the government to restore nursing training allowance this academic year.
Agyeman-Manu, however, explained that despite the net reduction in admissions, enrolment into Registered Community Nursing increased from 817 in 2016 to 2,346 students this year.
According to the minister, over the years admissions have been skewed towards Nurse Assistant Clinical (NAC), leaving the other critical health professionals whose work border more on preventive aspect of health delivery in the country.
“As we scale up the CHIP compound concept, for the purpose of educating communities to live in a clean environment and reduce disease burden of our people, less clinical nurses would be admitted while those providing preventive services would be increased,” the minister said.
“In an attempt to ensure equity in the training of all categories of health professionals, last year (2016), the ministry admitted 3,810 applicants into the registered midwifery category but has been increased this year (2017) to 4,178 while post NAC and NAP midwifery together were increased from 631 in 2016 to 1,659 in 2017,” he concluded.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr