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Govt threaten to arrest picketing nurses at Health Ministry

The Police are expected to descend on privately trained nurses who have been picketing at the health ministry since Monday if they should continue to stay at the Ministry premises beyond today (Thursday).

The Coalition for unemployed Private Nurses Association stormed the Ministry of Health to demand postings. According to the unemployed nurses, numbering over 300, they have been discriminated against since 2010.

The Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu on Wednesday told the nurses that there is nothing he can do about their situation.

“I have told you that before I assumed office as the Health Minister, the financial clearance has been issued with names of people already on it, and it makes your situation worse.

“So as it stands now I cannot change it but I have begun processes to have privately trained nurses employed but the financial clearance is not there. As I stand here now even if you put a knife to my throat I cannot employ you because I don’t have the financial clearance.”

But the spokesperson for the protesting nurses, Doreen Boateng expressed displeasure about the Minister’s utterances, adding that they’ll continue to picket until their demands are met.

“In fact, it’s a problem, how can a whole father of health tell us that even if we put a knife at his throat there is nothing he could do for us.

“We are going to be there because we think that they are not telling us the truth, until they come out to assure us to come back at a particular date we will adhere, but if they just give us verbal promises, we will continue to loiter around.”

But Hon. Agyemang Manu has stated that the Ministry of Health will have no option than to invite the police to deal with the situation as the continues presence of the nurses is affecting work at the Ministry and also against the Public Order Act.

They started sitting here as far as Monday, even when they came here we were thinking that the executives were not telling them facts so we wanted to go and open up as to what efforts we’re making to assist them because they do not have any obligation to the government, but they wouldn’t listen. As for insults, it’s a different matter but I take it as one of the hazards in getting yourself into politics, to the point that they’ve started hooting at us in the Ministry here.

Now, what is happening here is the fact that the place is becoming a bit unbearable to work with and probably we may not have any other option than to report the matter to the police to look at how best they can do. Becuase this clearly is against the Public Order Act, but what happens after we report the matter to police wouldn’t be something that I can guide.

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