President and founder of Founder’s Forum, Osman Rahim Hassan believes the restoration of Nursing Trainee Allowance is a politically brilliant decision but a monster creation for the country going forward.
‘’Politically, it is good for the President… because it serves as a fulfilment of a promise captured in the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) manifesto. But looking at it from a policy perspective, I will say it’s a monster creation that will hunt us as a country sooner or later,’’ he lamented.
In an interview with *Samuel Huntor on ‘Pampaso’ on Radio Gold,* the founder of the Founder’s Forum says the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has a deficit of about 32,206 nurses, noting that more nurses are needed to fill the gap – hence the scraping of the quota system to allow more intake.
In 2013, the then governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) scrapped the payment of allowances to trainee nurses. The allowance was thus replaced with loans from the Student Loan Trust Fund to enable Government to invest more in infrastructure to increase access.
However, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, the NPP promised to bring back the allowance regime if voted into power. The restoration of the allowance therefore is in fulfilment of a campaign promise.
58,000 health trainees, comprising nurses and midwives, will be paid their allowance of GH¢400 per person, for each of the 10 months of the academic year.
For the 2017/2018 academic year, the government is going to commit GHC232 million for the payment of the allowances. This was announced by President Akufo-Addo at a funfair event in the Brong Ahafo Region to celebrate the reinstatement of the trainee allowance on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Osman Rahim Hassan maintains there are lots of problems in this country that needs the government’s attention, adding that the restoration of allowance is not one of them.
According to him, this move by the Akufo Addo – Bawumia government is not what is necessary to better the lot of the ordinary Ghanaian, warning that moving forward; things must be done with the interest of the country at heart.
‘’moving forward as a country, is the restoration of the nurses trainee allowance what is important for us…or continuing what was left by the erstwhile Mahama administration?’’ he queried.