The Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has vehemently kicked against a policy directive on reserving 30 per cent of admissions to nursing training colleges (NTC) for the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Speaking on Dwaboase on TV XYZ, the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Select Committee on Health averred that the policy was ill-thought-out and had to be reversed as a matter of urgency to help admit more students to curb the brain drain of nurses in the country.
Currently, Ghana is seeing an increase in the migration of professional nurses to high-income countries due to the global shortage of nurses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Referring to a letter signed by Deputy Health Minister, Tina Mensah, to some of the nursing training colleges, the MP said ” the government wants to implement this policy because it is struggling to pay nursing trainee allowances”.
Ghana’s economic has taken a nose dive with the country seeking for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as inflation triggered by fuel hikes bites hard.
Akandoh believes the government mismanaged the economy and rather wanted to cut off the number of trainees who will gain admission into these NTCs in the country.
“As I speak now, the government has ordered the nursing schools to suspend admissions,” the MP told host Prince Minkah on Wednesday.
On Monday, the Minority in Parliament, led by Mr Kwabena Akandoh, held a press conference, and called on the government to desist from implementing the policy.
Akandoh said the self-imposed bottlenecks on admissions to the colleges ought to be tackled to allow them to run at full capacity.
He also cautioned the Ministry of Health to desist from encroaching on the internally-generated funds of colleges of health and allow them to use their funds as directed by the 2022 Budget Appropriations Act.
“Per official communications from the MoH to nursing training colleges, colleges are now restricted to admit not more than 50 per cent of their capacities,” it said and quizzed, “how can government claim to be improving access to nursing training by giving trainee allowances and on the other hand institute restrictive quotas to reduce same admissions by over 50 per cent?”
“This we believe is a recipe for the unbridled corruption that has recently characterised all admissions to government institutions, be it the police service, military recruitment, teacher training schools and now nursing training colleges,” he cautioned.