In ten working days, aggrieved privately trained nurses would demonstrate to the government that they have had enough.
The nurses have spent more than four years idling at home but now find themselves at their wit’s end.
“This is not fair,” one of them fumed in an interview with Joy News’ Roland Walker on the AM Show Tuesday. Another shouted; “it is discrimination!”
What the representatives of the ‘coalition of unemployed private nurses’ are complaining about is that, contrary to several promises by the government, they haven’t been employed.
According to them, in March 2018, the authorities at the Health Ministry collected their data and promised them postings but nothing has happened since then.
Prior to that, the nurses say they underwent verification in 2017.
What baffles the nurses most is that others who completed public nursing training schools much later have been employed by the government.
Doreen Boateng, the PRO of the coalition, however, explains that the school one goes to should not determine whether they get employed or not.
“When applying into the nursing training system, there is the option to choose private schools in case the public schools are oversubscribed,” Boateng explained.
“The private schools even have better facilities than the public schools,” she boasted.
“…and after training, we all write the same licensure exams. Why should those from the public institutions be given preferential treatment? It is discrimination,” She fumed.
According to her, their visits to the Health Ministry have yielded no meaningful results. “Sometimes you go there and wait all day and they tell you the Minister is not around but you see his car parked around,” she lamented.
Boateng added that sometimes they are invited to meet the authorities at the Ministry and all they are told is “there is no financial clearance” but the Ministry always assures them something is being done about their concerns.
“Now we don’t want those assurances anymore, all we want is the paperwork for our employment,” she stated.
If no favourable response to this demand is received within 10 working days, Boateng said the coalition would rally all 5,280 of nurses for a demonstration.
They will stage a demonstration tagged ‘kumiprɛko,’ (just kill me), a reference to a mega protest march led by now President Nana Akufo-Addo when he was in opposition in 1995.
She said after their demonstration, they will pitch camp at the Ministry until they get a favourable response. “We will stay there with them.”
“This is not politics, it is about our livelihood,” she said.
They want President Akufo-Addo to prevail upon the Ministry to employ them… “otherwise, they should close down the private schools.”
“Shut them down if you won’t employ us,” she said.
The nurses also believe they are being shortchanged despite their woes. According to them, since they have been licensed, they have to renew the license at a fee every year or risk losing the license.