The Private Universities’ Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG) on behalf of over 3,000 privately trained nurses who are currently at home after finishing school has mounted intense pressure on the government to post them to health institutions to work or else they would advise themselves.
PUSAG has, therefore, given a 10-day ultimatum to the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Employment & Labour Relations as well as the Nurses & Midwifery Council to meet over the predicament of the frustrated nurses and respond positively to their employment demands since they are tired of sitting at home and not working.
Putting their concerns across at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the President of PUSAG, Richard Odame, said after the 10-day ultimatum if nothing positive is heard from the government, PUSAG and all other interested parties would take a legitimate action to uphold the rights of the newly-trained private nurses and to resist unfair and inhumane treatment being meted out to them.
“For the past two years, life has been excruciatingly difficult for us as private nurses, private student leaders as well as our parents,” the PUSAG president said.
According to him, private trained nurses who should by now live meaningful lives have become a burden for their families after finishing school.
The PUSAG president mentioned that embarrassment is now defining the lives of these private nurses who are unemployed and waiting on the government to provide jobs for them.
“Our younger siblings that we could have served as role models to are unwilling to take their academic works seriously because they believe that even if they go to school, the probability for them to succeed in life in the country is very slim,” he stated, adding that after wasting so much money on their training, some as much as GH¢22,000, they become more or less ‘useless’ in the society.
“It is increasingly becoming the case that people who never attended school and engage in other activities like ‘sakawa’ have brighter future than those who spend years pursuing degrees, certificates and other professional courses,” he said, adding that it is not surprising that children these days have been abandoning school and taking to the quickest route to making wealth.
The JUSAG leader blamed the present unemployment situation on the government for its unpopular decision to go for an IMF programme which has restricted employment in the public sector.
“All that we want is a quota system of employment where private nurses could be allocated 30 to 35 percent in the posting process since this will ensure some semblance of equity and justice in the system,” he stated, adding that after all those who attend public health training institutions are given subsidies which are financed by the public, including all parents.
The PUSAG president said that an assurance had long been given by the government that whether publicly trained or privately trained, all nurses will be absorbed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) as reported by the Daily Post on May 23 this year, but so far, nothing has happened.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr