The financial clearance for most of the unemployed diploma nurses who besieged the Ministry of Health last week demanding to be posted had delayed because “almost all” of them had failed their final examinations and had only passed after they resat, Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has revealed.
The Coalition of Unemployed Bonded Diploma Nurses, comprising psychiatric nurses, general nurses, and midwives, on Monday April 24 picketed the ministry to pile further pressure on the government to accelerate their recruitment, saying they had remained jobless having left school in 2015 and since completing their national service in August 2016.
The nurses, numbering over 150, only agreed to go home on Wednesday April 26, having spent two nights sleeping rough at the ministry’s car park to press home their demands.
The move, they said, had been instigated after an assurance by Mr Agyeman-Manu to them in late March to resolve their issue within two weeks had elapsed with no word from the minister.
Responding to the nurses’ claim on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM in an interview on Thursday May 4, Mr Agyeman-Manu said he had been “pained” by their action, especially coming just “three days” after he had met with and assured them of a resolution to their matter, and at a time he had travelled out of the country.
Further, he disclosed that most of the nurses had actually failed their final examinations and only passed after resitting, for which reason their financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance had delayed while their colleagues who passed their examinations and graduated that same year had had theirs processed earlier.
He said of the nurses: “Your year group completed school in 2015. Unfortunately, you could not pass your exams. Almost all of you had a referral, so when you had to re-sit the exams, we had begun the application for the financial clearance of your colleagues who had graduated. Instead of waiting for us to complete your colleagues’ applications before we start with yours, you said, ‘No, add our application to theirs.’ If you had passed your exams would yours have delayed?”
According to him, he received information on the very day the nurses picketed his ministry from his Chief Director that the financial clearance for the protesting nurses had come through, asking: “So what was the point of all they came to do there?”