Honorable Alex Segbefia, the Minister for Health has revealed that the Government of Ghana will no longer bond nurses trained in public health training facilities from 2017. From the 2017/2018 academic year, new-entrant nursing trainees in government funded Health Training Institutions will no longer be required to serve a bond after completion.
The Ministry of Health has by a deliberate policy over many years increased the number of enrolment places in health training institutions throughout Ghana in both private and public institutions. Bonding nurses to be posted to remote areas has therefore become outdated.
Due to the increased numbers of new trainees, many nurses are willing to be employed by the Ministry of Health to be posted to many newly constructed health facilities nationwide.
The Government with the support of its development partners has constructed and inaugurated many CHPS compounds throughout Ghana.
The Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS) programme has been adopted by the Ministry’s Development Partners and these international agencies are funding the construction of more CHPS compound s with modern facilities throughout the deprived areas of Ghana.
The CHPS compound is the basic unit of the health care delivery system in Ghana. Nurses are expected to be posted to these facilities to take care of the health needs of communities to address the Sustainable Development Goals.
Their presence at these basic health facilities will ensure reliable data collection for the Ministry of Health and its Development Partners.
Expansion of both private and public health training institutions, oversubscription for recruitment and modern health facilities has resulted in a situation whereby nurses are willing to be posted to remote areas of Ghana. In addition to the CHPS compounds, the GOG through its Built to Care programme and the CHPS compound programme has constructed many more polyclinics, six district hospitals and upgraded more health facilities thereby increasing the need to recruit more health workers.
In furtherance of the Strategic Development Goals and improving primary health care, the Ministry of Health has recruited and posted Four thousand, seven hundred and ninety-nine (4,799) Nurses, Psychiatry nurses, enrolled nurses, Community Nurses and Midwives who graduated in 2014 and 2015 to various health facilities in Ghana.
The categories of persons employed are as follows:
Registered Community Nurses
Registered General Nurses (Psychiatry)
Health Assistant Clinical
Registered General Nurses
Community Health Nurses
These numbers are contained in the verified list from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
All facilities are to ensure that staffs to be engaged have their documents processed early and placed on the Mechanized Payroll to enable the Controller and Accountant–General effect payment of their salaries on time. This will reduce the incidence of arrears paid to staff.
Mr. Segbefia believes the current crop of nurses are fortunate because the Ministry of Health is about completing all the seven (7) District Hospitals under the NMS Built to Care programme, eight (8) district hospitals by Euroget, the Ridge expansion project, the Teaching Hospitals expansion project and the 1,000 CHPS compounds throughout Ghana.
According to the Minister, from 2017 all nurses undergoing training in the various public and private nursing training schools will all be employed in these facilities.
The Ministry is in talks with the Ministry of Finance to secure additional Financial Clearance, which will help engage nurses from private training institutions and other graduate nurses across the country.
TONY GOODMAN, HEAD, PUBLIC RELATIONS