The government says it has paid the final part of the allowance for trainee nurses for the 2018/2019 academic year.
In a statement, it has therefore through the Ministry of Health released an amount of GHc198,200,000 to pay the September 2018 to June 2019 allowances to the nursing training schools.
“The Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Health, has on Thursday, August 8, 2019, paid the final part of the nurses’ trainee allowance for 2018/2019 Academic year. In all, the Government released a total amount of GHC 198,200,000.00 from September 2018 to June 2019 to pay all trainees in public health training institutions.”
Trainee nurses have been threatening to boycott classes if their accumulated allowances are not paid.
The Akufo-Addo government in a run-up to the 2016 Presidential elections promised to restore the trainee nurses allowances scrapped by the previous government; a promise that was fulfilled in September 2017.
Few months after the initial payment, subsequent allowances have not been forthcoming.
The trainees are receiving an amount of GHC 400 each as part of the government’s restoration of allowance agenda.
“This is in fulfilment of the government’s commitment to the restoration of the Nursing Trainees allowance in 2017. Each trainee nurse received an amount of GHC 400.00 for 10 months in each academic year to support their academic and clinical work.”, the statement added.
Yet to be received allowances
The Ministry has promised to work on the payment of those whose allowances have not been paid due to challenges with the E-wich cards.
It has, therefore, urged affected trainees to contact the head to ensure that the anomaly is rectified.
“The Ministry is also working assiduously to ensure that trainees who could not receive their allowances owing to challenges with their E-wich cards are paid immediately. Trainees who may have any other challenges with the payment of the allowance are kindly advised to contact the Heads of their schools for redress.”
Stop paying allowances
A group known as the Center for Policy Development (CDP), wants the government to stop paying allowances to nurses and teachers undergoing training.
The Center believes such monies could be used for other things that will impact positively on the education of these trainees.
Executive Director of the Center for Policy Development, Ishmael Bin Yahuza, said the allowances are draining the nation’s coffers.
“Even if we have enough money, we have other areas that are equally important that deserve attention. You go to our basic schools and hospitals, you will find out that they lack basic tools to work with. We think that the money should be used for other purposes instead of paying allowances. They could also use it to expand infrastructure.”
The issue of allowance for trainee nurses became a major campaign point in the 2016 elections after the New Patriotic Party promised to restore the payments which were scrapped by the Mahama government.