The ruling National Democratic Congress, NDC after so much defiance is finally admitting that scrapping nursing trainee allowances was a mistake on their own part.
This issue of scrapping nursing trainee allowances has been a matter of debate between the incumbent government and the trainee nurses as well as the opposition party for a long time now.
The Mahama-led administration in 2014 scrapped the trainee nurses allowances, replacing it with the student’s loan. The government had explained that the trainee allowance was removed to allow an increase in the number of students entering colleges of education since government has been scaling it down to enable them meet up with payment of the allowances.
This move has since served the government with untold criticisms from the students and most harshly, from the major opposition party, the NPP. To express their rejection of the decision, the trainee nurses have embarked on several demonstrations, calling for a restoration since the allowance is what they say, sustain them in school.
The New Patriotic Party has also taken the decision as an important point in dissuading people from voting the NDC, promising time again that they will restore the allowances if voted into power. Mahama on his own part has once stated categorically that he will rather chose to lose the election than restore the allowances. This was after the trainee nurses threatened to vote against him if he fails to restore the allowances.
Following the intensified criticisms being hauled at the government in regard to this, especially as the polls are around the corner, the President made a U-turn on his decision, promising to start paying the student-nurses GhC150 monthly allowance. But, that was without admitting that scrapping the nursing trainee allowances in the first place was wrong.
However, it appears the NDC administration is beginning to see that their decision in scrapping nursing trainee allowances was actually a wrong one. Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, the Greater Accra Regional Organiser of the NDC, Anthony Nupkepnu said that the government seems to have made a mistake by scrapping the allowances.
Although he admits this error, he shifted the blames to the health minister, exonerating the President, and instead, commending him for restoring the allowances. He explained that the possibility of the government being caught in the web in some situations abound. He added that the only remedy in such situations is to revisit the decision in question and finding means of amending it for the benefit of one and all.