Unemployed Private Nurses: Picketing Escalates to Cooking And Sleeping at Health Ministry

The Coalition for Unemployed Private Nurses Association has been on a picketing spree for the past few days, over their unemployment. These nurses who say they have been discriminated against since 2010, devised a rather forceful means to make their voices heard. The members of the group, who are private nurses have remained jobless several years after completing colleges of health.

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According to reports, the recent health postings by the government excluded many qualified privately trained nurses. These affected nurses have described as improper, government’s decision to prioritize the employment of nurses trained in public institutions over them.

The situation has been perceived by the group as a preferential treatment on the side of government -an act which contradicts the constitutional provision of equal opportunity for all citizens.

It has been tagged partial in the sense that although these nurses are licensed and qualified, government seemingly, prioritizes the employment of nurses trained in public institutions over them; causing them to be exempted at postings. Following futile attempts to get the government to retrace its steps, the unemployed private nurses decided to act.

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The Ministry of Health on July 31, 2017, saw a crusade of privately trained nurses picketing the organization premises, in protest against their plight. The nurses lamented that they are equally qualified to be recruited by the government to serve in various public health institutions. They also argued that they paid their tuitions just like publicly trained nurses and ought to be treated the same way as them.

Picketing Continues

Unemployed private nurses cooking at Health Ministry premises

The private unemployed nurses have said that their picketing at the Ministry of Health(MoH) will continue until the government gives them a definite date for their postings. At the moment, the nurses are still gathered at the MoH premises despite attempts by authorities to resist them.

The nurses have maintained that government has discriminated against them by posting their counterparts who completed in public institutions. A member of the group, Richard Asomaning who spoke in a media interview insisted that they will be forced to invite their members nationwide to join the action if the government remains adamant in posting them.

The Undeterred nurses have gone as far as bringing their household equipment to ease their stay at the ministry. Items like cooking stoves, pots, and other kitchen utensils were found at the premises as the undeterred nurses loitered around the environment.

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But it seems the big issue is far from its closure, as the Health Minister has given no acceptable response. Minister for Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has told the privately trained nurses who have been picketing for days now that they cannot be employed even if they put a knife to his throat.

The Health Minister who addresses a section of the aggrieved nurses on August 1, said that a financial clearance with names of people on it, was already issued before he assumed office, hence, his inability to change the situation.

He also told the nurses that they are not the only ones whose names are yet to be cleared and that his outfit is waiting on the Finance Ministry to clear them (the nurses) for them to be posted.