General News of Wednesday, 11 October 2017
The government has committed GHC232 million for the payment of nursing trainees’ allowances for the 2017/2018 academic year.
This was announced by President Akufo-Addo at a grand event to celebrate the restoration of the allowance in the Brong Ahafo region.
“For the 2017/2018 academic year, effective September 2017, 58,000 health trainees comprising nurses and midwives, will be paid GH¢400 per person for each of the 10 months of the academic year. This means the government will be spending a total of GH¢ 232 million for this academic year,” Akufo-Addo said.
The previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, scrapped the allowance for trainee nurses in 2013.
It explained that it canceled the regular payments because it prevented the state from investing in infrastructure to admit more students.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the December 2016 elections promised to restore the monthly allowance if voted into office.
Following the party’s victory, it assured the trainees of honouring the promise at the start of the academic year.
At the event to officially launch the reintroduction of the allowance, President Akufo-Addo said his government is committed to investing in education and the future of its youth.
“I have chosen to invest in the education and in the future of our young men and women, and I will use the blessings the Almighty has so amply bestowed on us to this end,” he said.
While addressing concerns over the sustainability of the program, he said, “to the professional cynics and skeptics, those who have made an industry out of constantly asking if this policy is sustainable, I wish to assure them that with the proper management of public finances, the nation’s budget can accommodate such an amount.”
Over 16,000 health workers employed
The president said that the government has employed some 16,000 qualified young nurses and midwives and other health professionals, who, though qualified, had not found employment over the last few years.
He further assured that additional nurses and midwives will be employed before the end of the year, to reduce the backlog of graduate health professionals yet to be employed.
“Next year, we plan to employ even more healthcare workers. To your colleagues in private nursing and midwifery training institutions, who have been at home for a number of years, next year our healthcare institutions will begin recruiting them,” he said.