Unpaid nurses and midwives who embarked on an indefinite strike starting Monday, October 5, 2015, are likely to be paid by next week, the Health Ministry has assured.
The about 7,000 nurses and midwives who announced the strike Sunday were employed between 2011 and 2015.
The nurses said while some have not been paid for more than a year, others received only three months payment after working for more than three years.
Public Relations Officer of the Health Ministry, Tony Goodman told Francis Abban on Joy Midday news the ministry is assiduously working to get the health workers paid.
He said the Controller and Accountant General has fast-tracked their concern and validated about 7000 names and forwarded same to the Health Ministry.
He said the striking nurses and midwives are aware that the ministry is keying the data to get them paid and was hopeful the process would be completed by next week.
He attributed the delay to “bureaucracy”, explaining that previously “people received money that they did not work for”.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Coalition of Nurses and Midwives, Douglas Adu-Fokuo is emphatic they would not “compromise on any promises whatsoever, from any authority or government officials.”
He insisted that the group will only return to work after they are paid because the authorities have failed to honour all previous promises.
Checks by Joy News in some health facilities across the country showed that the strike is yet to full effect, but hospital administrators are working hard to minimize the impact.
Tony Goodman told Joy News the ministry has asked managers of facilities whose workers are on strike to “rationalise” nurses and midwives on duty.
But President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association Kwaku Asante Krobea has accused government of insensitivity in the handling of nurses and welfare issues of midwives.
He said the affected health workers “are frustrated” and instead of solving their problem, the Employment Minister has been issuing threats, warning the health workers would be sacked.
The minister, Haruna Iddrisu’s posture doesn’t auger well for industrial relation, he said, and urged him to “rethink the decision”, unless he “is calling for trouble”.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has recalled senior nurses and midwives from leave as part of measures to minimize the impact of the strike.