Members of the Coalition of Unemployed Allied Health Professionals currently being used by the government for the contact tracing exercise are threatening to withdraw their services if they are not offered permanent employment immediately.
According to the Allied Health Professionals, they feel discriminated against, following the government’s decision to recruit only the 2017 batch of Nurses and Midwives into the Health Sector.
In a Citi News interview, the President of the Coalition of Unemployed Allied Health Professionals, Ebenezer Nkrumah said he and his colleagues cannot continue to put their lives at risk.
“The majority of the contact tracing persons are allied health professionals who are staying at home unemployed. We are all unemployed since 2016/2017 and we are being used for the contact tracing. We are being given GHS150 a day as a stipend. Fine, we are okay but the thing is that if the government is to clear the 2017 batch of nurses and midwives, why did they leave out allied health professionals of the same year group? That is why we are asking the government if they are discriminating or our profession is not essential to them. If that is the case, then why are they using us for contact tracing.”
“We have to back out of the contract tracing process because after this exercise, are we going to sit back at home. The nurses and midwives who completed with us in the same year have been cleared and we have been left out. We are risking our lives. If we found out from the Ministry and tehre is nothing for us, we will not do the contacting tracing anymore. We won’t take the GHS 150 again”, he added.
In a separate statement, the Coalition asked the government to post its members to various health institutions to boost the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
“We the Allied Health Professionals have since not seen nor heard any move from the President in fulfilling what he stated and yet the number of cases keeps rising up to the peak each and every day while we are at home, unemployed and have the knowledge and experience ready to sacrifice for mother Ghana,” a statement from the Coalition of Unemployed Allied Health Professionals stated.
The statement added that: “We would like to draw the attention of the Presidency that we are ever ready to sacrifice in these hard times of health hazards for mother Ghana and therefore urge the government to hasten the process for us to be at duty to safe the lives of citizens of our beloved country.”
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.”