Members of the Coalition of Graduate Unemployed Allied Health professionals (COAHP) currently being used by the government for the nationwide COVID-19 contact tracing and testing have withdrawn from the exercise effective today, April 13, 2020.
Last week, the Coalition threatened to discontinue the exercise and demanded permanent employment from the government.
They complained about the government’s discrimination in recruiting the 2017 batch of Nurses and Midwives while excluding the Allied Health Professionals of the same year group.
In a statement to announce the withdrawal and express the “neglect and unfair treatment that has been meted out” to them, the coalition said: “The leadership of the Coalition of Graduate Unemployed Allied Health Professionals (COAHP) 2017 and 2018 batch wishes to inform the general public that effective 13th April 2020, all members who volunteered to do contact tracing, sample taking and testing nationwide have withdrawn their services in the COVID-19 teams.”
Portions of the release added that “follow-ups were done to this effect and the Ministry of Health promised us that latest by March, our financial clearance will be granted. We thereby could not fathom why only that of nurses was granted leaving out Allied Health Professionals.”
The Coalition which comprises 3,797 members had 1,855 members engaged in the voluntary contact tracing and testing.
It further cautioned members of the public against “persons who will disguise as Allied Health Professionals to do contact tracing, sample taking and testing. Contact tracing, sample taking, testing and all public health activities are strictly the work of certified Allied Health Professionals.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo announced that the Ministry of Health is engaging the services of retired and new health professionals to augment that of its current staff as the country braces itself for a possible surge in the number of coronavirus infections.
In an address to the nation on Saturday, March 21, President Akufo-Addo was amazed by the response of the retired health professionals to the call.
“The Ministry of Health is mobilizing new and retired health care professionals to augment our preparedness in dealing with the possible surge in infections. It is heartening to hear the number of healthcare professionals who have stepped forward to offer their services.”