Akandoh enraged over claims that SHS grads now doing nurses’ jobs

The minority caucus’ spokesperson on health, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has described as senseless, the decision by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to enrol senior high school leavers into CHPS compounds to do the jobs of several thousand trained nurses who are jobless and have been at home for years.

Mr Akandoh’s condemnation of the move follows opposition to the decision by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA).

In a statement, the association said, the YEA has no reason to enrol SHS leavers to do that job when there is already a backlog of unemployed nurses waiting to be employed.

The statement, issued on Monday, 22 August 2022, noted: “Indeed the work in these rural communities can be quite daunting for CHNs to the extent that they can hardly have time to attend to their personal and career development issues. They, therefore, require assistance but not from Senior High School (SHS) graduates.”

It indicated that there are 10,727 Nurse Assistants (Clinical and Preventive) who already “had accessed the MOH’s recruitment portal and were waiting to be posted to various parts of Ghana.”

The association stressed that more than half of the numbers are “Nurse Assistant (Preventive) who are also appointed as CHNs. In total there is a backlog of over 20,000 nurses and midwives of all cadres belonging to 2019, 2020, and 2021 batches also awaiting employment.”

It further noted that it, therefore, finds the YEA’s decision to train SHS leavers to “help nurses with services, including recording medical history and symptoms, conducting physical examinations, providing simple bedside care to patients, mostly in rural communities, as very disturbing and a clear displacement of Ghana’s priority to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3(SDG 3) and Universal Health Coverage by 2030.”

The YEA had indicated that the government will, by the end of August 2022, employ about 5,000 SHS leavers to CHPS compounds across the country.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the YEA, Alhaji Ibrahim Bashiru, made this known at the Ghana Job Fair.

The SHS leavers will be employed to assist nurses with services including recording medical history and symptoms, conducting physical examinations, providing simple bedside care to patients among others.

In Mr Akandoh’s view, however, the decision lacks sense.

“At this point, I don’t even know whether or not it’s a curse for Ghanaians to have allowed this particular government to be at the helm of affairs because almost all the decisions they are taking for the good people of this country do not make sense at all”, he told Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class91.3FM’s mid-day news 12Live on Tuesday, 23 August 2022.

“One day, we’ll get up to hear that nobody should drink water, we should drink urine because it doesn’t make sense at all”, he noted.

According to him, “more than 20,000 nurses” are “sitting at home and you are calling people who have just completed secondary school to go and give them another training; this is another money, another investment you are going to use; meanwhile, there are people who are ready for the job and this is a very sensitive area, it’s about healthcare; you cannot experiment with the lives of the people, so, if you think through the kinds of decisions they are taking these days, you don’t understand whether they understand the issues … because it doesn’t make sense”.

As far as he is concerned, it is, thus, appropriate that “the nurses association is actually pumping sense into the heads of the people at the helm of affairs and they must be humble enough to listen because those who are taking the decisions, if their relatives are sick, they will not go to a CHPS compound”.

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