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General News of Wednesday, 29 January 2020


NPP can’t claim to love nurses, teachers than NDC – Eric Opoku

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Former Brong Ahafo regional minister, Eric Opoku, has dared the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to show Ghanaians the infrastructural development it has undertaken within its 3 years of governance, that has created employment opportunities to trainee nurses.

Speaking on Dwaboase on Power 97.9 FM Monday, the Asunafo South MP mentioned that the NPP government has been touting that it has nurses and other health workers at heart, that is why it pays allowances to trainee nurses while studying in school but has failed to provide jobs for the nurses as promised in the run up to the 2016 general elections

It will be recalled that the erstwhile Mahama government cancelled the payment of allowances to trainee teachers and nurses and replaced it with loans for students. The development became a campaign message for the NPP as they promised to bring back the allowance.

However, the Akufo-Addo administration after winning the polls payed the allowances to the students but capped the number students who could be admitted into the training schools. The current system has since been questioned by many who thought the Mahama administration gave the opportunity to a lot more students to be admitted into the training institutions.

Mr Eric Opoku believes the Mahama system was the best because the government embarked on many infrastructural projects in the health sector that would have created thousands of employment opportunities for trained health workers unlike the Akufo-Addo government which he says has done nothing in the sector to create jobs for the thousands of trained nurses who keep protesting on the streets over their unemployment.

“When we [the NDC] were in power, we did a lot in the health sector which the NPP, from the Kuffuor time to the Akufo-Addo era, can’t come close to…We built hospitals in all the regions to improve on the quality of health care in the country,” Mr Opoku said in Akan.

He said the cancellation of allowances for trainee nurses and teachers was to make sure more students were admitted into the training institutions.

“We brought in the student loans to support needy students who were already assured of jobs after completion. We bonded the students and made sure that we build health facilities across the country that were ready to employ these students…When people send their children to school they do so because they want them to be trained and be skillfull so they can get jobs and take care of them [the parents] when they grow old. But what we see today is that this government hasn’t built health facilities to absorb the students who are being trained but they [the NPP] say they love these students yet they have not bonded the nurses. What this means is that when they complete school, there will not be ready jobs for them, but we made sure the jobs were available,” he added.

He explained that the Mills/Mahama administration wanted the health sector to be formidable to save lives and also preserve the human capital of the country, stressing that the construction of nursing training colleges across the country and the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta region was to help train health workers to be employed into the health facilities that the government had established in most parts of the country.

“We built 5 polyclinics in the then Brong Ahafo region, 5 in Western region…5 in the Greater Accra region which you can find at Adenta [not fully completed], Sege, Ashaiman and other areas…We built 10 poly clinics in the Central region. All these are existing projects…We also built the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge which has employed a lot of trainees,” he said.

To him, a government like the Mahama administration that embarked on these projects has nurses at heart unlike the Akufo-Addo government that has failed to employ trained nurses because it has failed to open most of the health facilities the previous government built.

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