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General News of Tuesday, 20 September 2016


There're jobs for nurses; many reject them – Bawa Mogtari

The Campaign Spokesperson of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joyce Bawah-Mogtari, has blamed the rising unemployment among nurses on the proliferation of private nurse training schools and the general reluctance on the part of newly-trained nurses to work in rural areas.

Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Tuesday September 20, Mrs Bawa Mogtari noted that government had created over 400,000 jobs, despite the general view that there were no jobs in the country.

Reacting to a listener’s concern on the show that it is only under the NDC government that nurses remained unemployed after their training, the Deputy Minister of Transport said: “...Eight years ago, how many private nurse training institutions did we have? Government was the only training institution and, of course, the universities, which were awarding degrees to nurses. There was always an appetite for nurses of a certain quality. Now you have several private institutions churning out nurses. It calls for some further vetting.”

“So, obviously in times past when nurses just graduated from the University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, from key training institutions and were fully absorbed even right before leaving school, we now have all these private ones, which calls for more scrutiny and [the period of that scrutiny] is what creates this challenge because you will now have to apply.”

She mentioned the example of the Maritime Hospital in Tema, which she learned would soon be hiring nurses. According to her, the resident medical doctor at the facility pointed out to her that the hospital was looking for nurses with particular qualifications from specific institutions, instead of recruiting nurses “from just anywhere”.

She continued: “Our population is now 27 million. I don’t think you expect that every nurse who comes out will be able to get a job immediately. I have younger sisters who are in the medical profession.

They do locum all over the place. I don’t even think they are too keen whether or not they should be formally in a government hospital. In fact, yesterday, I met with a young doctor, he said, ‘I work in a private hospital in Nima and I am the only doctor.’ Sometimes we have to start looking at things from a different perspective.

I will give you an interesting example: when you go to even some of the CHPS compounds, we cannot find a qualified nurse to manage the compound because nobody wants to be in the rural areas. So, it is the same ones who are churned out by the government institutions who cannot refuse postings because that is what the rules say – they are the ones who go there. … You have all these young nurses leaving these private institutions; they all want to go to urban communities.”

Asked by host Prince Minkah if she was blaming the graduate nurses for their unemployment, Mrs Bawa-Mogtari said: “Because there are jobs but they want those jobs, that is what I’m trying to say.

In some cases yes, let’s be realistic. …I have engaged several young people who come out of the universities with a History degree like President Mahama did, but they don’t want to teach.

If I came out of the university for example with Home Economics, I will like to go and teach in the catering institute because, one, I will be developing my career; two, I will be helping build other young people; three, I will be impacting knowledge somehow. … I met a student who made first class in economics, who is a great broadcaster – that is called diversification…and doing things differently…”