Government has expressed empathy towards the thousands of agitated nurses who are yet to be posted to various health centres across the country.
According to Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, it has been government’s wish to have all health professionals cleared but constraints in the country’s economy would not permit its fruition.
“The 10,000, when they say ‘we haven’t been recruited’ is a very loud voice and I say our hearts go out to them. We wish that by now we have been able to clear all of that outstanding numbers.” He said in an interview on the Point Blank show.
He faulted the former NDC administration for leading the country into a bailout programme with the IMF and a defective Health Insurance scheme, both situations which he claimed led to the halting of about 50, 000 recruited nurses.
Comparing such an instance to that of the current NPP government, he said they deserved a pat on the back for clearing “a good chuck of the backlog” by being able to recruit some 40,000 nurses out of the 50,000.
“You recall that that was when the previous administration told us that the meat was down to the bone and a bail out of the IMF programme. They could not do recruitment in the public sector generally and therefore they had to freeze recruitment. If they froze the recruitment of say 50,000 nurses who were graduating and the new administration comes in, gets us out of that deal, improves the financial situation and says that out of that 50,000 we are able to recruit 40,000 of those nurses out of the bracket you will still find that some ten thousand remain.”
“Look at how much we have done within that period and look at how much we continue to improve the financial situation and mind you these days you don’t do these things where you recruit people before you go and look for financial clearance for them. What you do is that you get financial clearance so that by the time you recruit them you can actually pay.”
The Minister said the unemployment situation will also involve a financial clearance so that nurses who are recruited get paid without any squirms.
“Our expectation is that as we continue to improve the financial situation and get clearances for these persons we can recruit as many as the system can accommodate.”