The Minority in Parliament has described as unfortunate and irresponsible, a decision by the government to use Senior High School (SHS) graduates for Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds at a time trained nurses, doctors and other health workers have not been employed.
Earlier, the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives’ Association (GRNMA) raised concerns against this decision.
In an earlier statement issued on Monday, 22 August 2022, the association noted that: “Indeed the work in these rural communities can be quite daunting for CHNs to the extent that they can hardly have time to attend to their personal and career development issues. They therefore require assistance but not from Senior High School (SHS) graduates.”
“Nurse Assistant (Preventive) who are also appointed as CHNs. In total there is a backlog of over 20,000 nurses and midwives of all cadres belonging to 2019, 2020, 2021 batches also awaiting employment,” it added.
The statement further said the decision is “disturbing and a clear displacement of Ghana’s priority to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3(SDG 3) and Universal Health Coverage by 2030.”
Addressing a press conference in Parliament on Thursday September 8, Ranking Member – Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said “We the Minority in Parliament find it highly unfortunate and irresponsible that with the large numbers of trained doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals at home and waiting to be absorbed into the public health system, government would rather opt to recruit untrained and unlicensed high school leavers to fill in gaps within the healthcare system.
“These ever-widening gaps of professional care within the health system is the direct consequence of government’s lack of sensitivity and concern for the welfare of health professionals.
“Contrary to the propaganda and noise government makes on addressing the welfare needs of health professional, most professionals can confirm that their conditions of service have deteriorated over the years.
“The economic challenges of hyperinflation and unprecedented depreciation of the Ghana Cedi under the Bawumia-led economic management team has eroded whatever value accrues as meagre salaries of all Ghanaian workers.”
Head of Public Affairs at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Mohammed Awal explained that this programme is not new.
He indicated that it has been in existence since 2006 but was halted in 2018.
The SHS graduates, he explained, are given a three-week training to equip them for the assignment.
“This is not a novelty and so I am surprised this is becoming an issue at this time. It is not a new module that we are bringing on board, it started in 2006, you remember some used to be called Kufuor nurses or Zoom nurses.,” Awal said on the Ghana Tonight show with Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Monday August 22.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana