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28.09.2004 Health

Health Minister asked to resign

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Tamale, Sept. 28, GNA - The Northern Regional Branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) has called for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Afriyie and Dr Ken Sagoe, Director of Human Resource Division of the Ghana Health Services.

They accused Dr Afriyie for what they termed misleading the public with wrong figures regarding salaries of nurses, which subjected nurses to public ridicule and criticism.

The Association also blamed Dr Sagoe, for failing to submit to the government the report on the Technical Committee that the government instituted to look into the disparities in the ADHA.

The nurses made the call after an emergency meeting of members of the association in Tamale on Monday, which was aimed at addressing issues of Additional Duty Hour Allowance (ADHA) for nurses in the region.

Mr Abdul-Ganiyu Imoro, Chairman of the Northern Regional branch of the GRNA, who briefed the Ghana News Agency (GNA), after the meeting, noted that, both Dr Afriyie and Dr Sagoe had failed to play their roles effectively in the ADHA saga and said this had aggravated the plight of nurses.

They said for instance, Dr Sagoe alleged that there were mistakes in the report that needed to be corrected before he submitted it to the government and expressed surprise why those mistakes were not pointed out to the committee during its sittings.

He said the GRNA was now demanding 200 ADHA instead of the 152 ADHA from the government across board for its members irrespective of where they work or stationed.

The Chairman said GRNA has given the government 72 hours to respond to their demand or they would embark on a strike after the deadline.

The Association said it had found out that, the ADHA as a disincentive, considering the hours allotted to nurses compared with other health professionals, who enjoy 200 hours irrespective of the number of hours they clock and their staff strength.

Mr Imoro said as at now some nurses were receiving between 30, 60 and 100 ADHA, while their counterparts at the Korle-Bu and Akomfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals were receiving 152 ADHA.

He said the disparities had come about because some regional directors of Health Services were saving monies that they claimed would be used to pay nurses who were not yet in the system.

The Chairman said the government complained that it had been spending so much money on ADHA but that the money was not getting to the nurses.

He urged the government to investigate the malfeasance in the system to bring sanity to the health sector to enhance quality health care delivery in the country.

He said there is currently a heightened agitation among nurses in the region, explaining "The executives would not be able to contain it if these disparities in the disbursement of the ADHA were not properly addressed".

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