Fresh Nurses At 37 Military Hospital Grumble
Fresh Nurses At 37 Military Hospital Grumble Website
Danger looms at the 37 Military Hospital as newly-recruited staff nurses at the medical facility have threatened to revolt against their superiors for what they describe as poor conditions of service and contract/appointment anomaly. The nurses say they are unhappy about the terms and conditions of service as per their appointment contracts with the Military Hospital which took effect from December last year after a year of orientation at the facility, insisting that it amounts to a breach of their rights. Some of the nurses, who spoke to Gye Nyame Concord on strict condition of anonymity, complained that whilst their colleagues at other public medical outfits were being paid in the range of GH¢250 (¢2.5 million) as orientation allowances, they at the Military Hospital were paid a meagre GH¢70 (¢700,000) till their appointment contracts were sealed last December. Another issue that the nurses raised was the date their appointments/upgrade to staff nurses by the Military outfit took effect from December while their colleagues at other health outfits had their appointments taking effect from March 2007 of the same year even though they all went through their orientations at the same period. The newly-recruited staff nurses said when they detected the anomaly between their conditions of service and that of their colleagues at the Ridge or the Korle-Bu Hospital, they complained to their superiors at the hospital.. However, the nurses said their officers have consistently refused to offer them any tangible reason as to the inconsistency. They maintain that they (nurses) all passed through the same system by the Ghana Health Service (GHS). When Gye Nyame Concord contacted the Department of Public Relations (DPR) of the Military establishment for clarification of the matter they denied any wrongdoing as far as the appointment contract and conditions of service of the staff nurses are concerned. Lt. Col. Mbah Atintande of the Military D.P.R said as far as the 37 Military Hospital is concerned, nurses undergoing orientation at the hospital are considered student-nurses and that they were paid their allowances based on provisions from the sector ministry. He therefore advised the nurses to stay calm, insisting that the Military Hospital had no business in slashing down monies meant for its nurses. He further explained that monies paid to nurses were from government and not the Military outfit and therefore the hospital or the Military could not have made any deductions from their allowances. On the issue of the contract/appointment date, Lt. Col. Atintande explained that unlike staff nurses at other public health facilities, who had to be placed on a year’s probation after their one year orientation, staff nurses at the Military Hospital were directly offered appointment as staff nurses right after their one year orientation. In effect, as per Lt. Col. Atintande’s explanation, the aggrieved newly-recruited staff nurses at the Military Hospital were better off as compared to their colleagues at other places since they are presently fully employed unlike their colleagues who are to go through another year of probation before their appointments/contracts could be sealed even after the one year orientation. However, the nurses argue that the orientation programme for student nurses has been in existence since time immemorial through which many nurses have passed and received appreciable allowances. They therefore contend that under no circumstance should anyone hide behind the issue of orientation to ‘cheat’ them by denying them their rights. Efforts to get further explanation from the Human Resource Directorate of the Ghana Health Service proved futile as officials refused to speak to Concord’s reporter claiming that unless they are shown documentary evidence of the anomaly, they would not be able to offer any explanation. Not even an explanation that the documents were supposed to be restricted could convince them to rescind their resolve not to speak to this paper on the issue. Meanwhile, the staff nurses maintain that they are prepared to go every length to ensure that they are given what is due them for as long as it s within their rights.