The Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG), has expressed grave concern over the recent increment in levies by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana (N&MC), particularly the staggering rise in the cost of foreign verification to Three Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 3,000.00) from an initial GHS 550.00 representing 445.45% increment.

UPNMG views this action by the N&MC as a deliberate attempt to burden and frustrate Nurses and Midwives who aspire to seek opportunities abroad.

The union questions how such exorbitant fees were approved without consideration for the already dire conditions of service experienced by Nurses and Midwives.

Migration, UPNMG asserts, is a civil right and should not be hindered by unreasonable levies.

A statement signed by John Agbenyeavu
National PRO for the Union urged the N&MC to focus on empowering and engaging young Nurses and Midwives, rather than imposing financial barriers that only serve to stifle their aspirations.

In light of these concerns, UPNMG urgently calls on the Parliament of Ghana to revisit this issue to prevent any adverse effects on health service delivery in the country.

Furthermore, the union demands that the NMC immediately suspend the implementation of the new levy and engage in meaningful dialogue with relevant unions to seek an amicable resolution.

UPNMG appeals to all Nurses and Midwives to remain calm and steadfast as the union engages with stakeholders to address this pressing issue.

Thousands of Ghanaian Nurses, midwives and Doctors have migrated to Europe for greener pastures due to poor working conditions in the country.

Research has shown that close to 60% of healthcare workers in the country have an interest in similarly traveling abroad.

In reaction, the Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye said “Brain drain remains a key challenge for us and there are usually ways when there are shortages in the developed countries, there is also the drift of people going there. So what we are doing is first, trying to encourage as many to stay. We are also ensuring that those who are staying are also being trained rapidly”.

He added “We are recruiting to replace those we can replace while we ensure that we are giving more people especially the nurses study leave allocations so that we can convert some of the non-professional nurses into professional ones because it is the majority of professional nurses who are leaving,” he stated

Source: Ghana/ Ansah