The Ghana Nurses and Midwives’ Association has called on the government to review the conditions of service of nurses and Midwives that serve in rural communities across the country.
According to the Association, even though nurses generally go through difficult moments in delivering healthcare, their counterparts in rural areas go through harrowing challenges all in their bid to make healthcare accessible to everyone.
General secretary of the Nurses and Midwives’ Association, Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, made the appeal at a lecture to commemorate Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing in Cape Coast.
The lecture, the first in the series, organised by the Central Regional branch of the Nurses and Midwives’ Association of Ghana was to celebrate nursing and also remind nurses and midwives about their calling and the need to exhibit care, love and patience in attending to clients that come to them.
The Ghana Nurses and Midwives Association said such persons who accept postings to rural areas are disadvantaged and ought to be supported to help in the delivery of healthcare.
“We need to bring the rural incentive packages back and institute them well. It came up strongly during the negotiating agreement but the information we gathered was that the government says it was developing it. It is taking too long; it’s about time we got it instituted,” she stated.
“Sometimes, I feel pity for our young ladies; you finish school, you are posted to a faraway place where you are deprived of many things. Places where there are no good husband materials; where all the nurses and midwives you see are only palm wine tappers, farmers and others. It’s really demotivating,” Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo narrates what nurses and midwives in rural areas go through.
She said it was high time government revisited the conditions of service of nurses and midwives, especially, those in the rural areas.
She believes the nurses and midwives who accept postings to rural areas of the country could be motivated called on the government to turn its attention to the nurses and midwives that work in the rural areas and review their conditions to motivate many.
“If the situation is that you are posted to a rural area for three years and someone else comes to replace you, people will be willing to go. Many are posted there and they are simply forgotten. And for those who work under such conditions, they should not be receiving salaries like their counterparts in the urban areas. They should be motivated to stay and work there for others to be attracted to work in such places,” she explained.
Deputy Central Regional Minister, Thomas Adjei Baffoe, urged the nurses and midwives to exhibit greater care and love to the patients they attend to.
According to him, that is the crux of their calling.
“You have to live your calling. There are some of the nurses and midwives that make healthcare very difficult; such persons must desist from that and follow the traits of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing,” he charged.
The Sustainable Development Goal 3 proposes to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being for all at all ages and the Nurses and Midwives’ association believes if the government intervenes it will help a great deal to achieve the goal.