President John Mahama has assured students in health training institutions of more job opportunities as his government continues to expand infrastructure in the sector.
Mahama, who was addressing separate durbars in the Salaga district as part of his campaign tour of the Northern region, urged trainees and the public in general to ignore false claims by political opponents that there is a freeze on employment.
He emphasized that there is no exemption for the health and education sectors when it comes to employment.
“So if anybody tells you this, it’s a lie. As many as must be put on the pay roll, we will continue drafting then onto the pay roll. We have had problems with ghost names that is why we go through a verification process, a system that delays the recruitments,” he explained further.
He added: “We are training health professionals across the length and breadth of the country. The University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho is training doctors, biomedical health specialists and public health specialists. The University of Development Studies is expanding its training programme for doctors and other medical staff.
“The same is ongoing at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Cape Coast University and Legon. On paramedical staff and nurses for example, we have the Midwifery Training Colleges, Health Assistant Training Schools and the Community Health training schools. Indeed, we have so far established more than 36 of these schools across the country,” he told the mammoth crowd including students of Kpembe Midwifery Training School at Salagaa.
President Mahama who took time to explain his policy for the health sector also debunked assertions that the NHIS has collapsed.
“Our political opponents say NHIS has collapsed. NHIS in 2008 saw nine million outpatient visitations to hospitals. Last year, 2015, the NHIS has grown in outpatients visitations from nine million to 29 million. How can that be a scheme that has collapsed? In 2008, the total amount of money that was paid to facilities for providing treatments to NHIA [National Health Insurance Authority] patients was GHc183 million.
“Last year, 2015, the total amount of money that was paid by NHIA to facilities across the country for treatments given to NHIA cardholders was more than GHc1 billion. How can that be a scheme that has collapsed?” he asked.
He observed that at least two health professionals attend to each patient and 6,000 new beds would mean an automatic 12,000 jobs created. “Health facilities provide access. An NHIS with no facility is useless and that is why government is investing heavily in terms of training and infrastructure,” he added.