Members of non-partisan group, Coalition for Democratic Governance (CDG) have condemned government for restoring the Nurses and Midwife Trainee allowances which was cancelled during the previous administration, saying the decision was not well thought through.
This comes as a response to the reintroduction of the Nurses and Midwife trainee allowances which was restored early this month in a brief ceremony at the Brong Ahafo Regional capital, Sunyani.
In a statement, the group expressed great displeasure at the development saying that the Allowances will put more stress on the nations’ economy.
They said the Mahama government’s decision to cancel the allowances was a step in the right direction because revenue generated was channeled into other development projects, saying it was “part of a framework to long term National Development planning”.
They further mentioned that, revenue derived out of the cancellation was used mainly to develop hospitals across the country which in turn created a boost in employment for the health sector.
“Under the plan, Tamale hospital had been expanded and upgraded into a teaching hospital. A new teaching hospital had been built on the University of Ghana campus. Kumasi Teaching Hospital had been expanded. Ten regional hospitals – one for each region – had been built. Polyclinics and Community Chip Compounds had been distributed evenly across the length and breadth of Ghana.As a result, it had then become obvious that the country would require three to four times the number of health personnel, based on an estimated annual population growth rate of 2.5,” they wrote.
They purported that the President restored these allowances for political gains and so did not ‘follow the logic behind the cancellation of the allowances’.
“Without following the logic behind the cancellation of the allowances, the Akufo Addo Government, decided to reintroduce the allowances; most likely for political gains,” they claimed.
They were doubtful of the president’s capability to sustain the payment of these allowances after the GHC232 million allocated to it is exhausted. The CDG described the allowance restoration as a lack of ‘good planning’.
“Indeed good planning has always been the problem. Good planning would have exposed the damaging effects of the allowances on our economy and on health policy,” the statement showed.
“True to his promise, a two hundred and thirty-two million cedis (GH?232,000,000.00) has been released to the Ministry of Health for the payment of trainee allowances. Now, calculating with GHc400 per month per student, for 58,000 students, the money released will cover only 10 months as projected. After the 10 months, the government would have to look for more money to cover the subsequent academic years; thus putting doubts on its sustainability,” the CDG noted in their statement.
The CDG also took a swipe at the FREE SHS policy saying it is a clear indication of ‘bad planning and lack of effective implementation’.
They said, “It is now an open secret, that the free SHS is facing massive problems – as admitted by Dr Bawumia - because of bad planning and lack of effective implementation. Currently, questions are being asked about the sustainability of the entire free SHS project.”