President of the Ghana registered Nurses Association Kwaku Asante Krobea has described calls for the scrapping of trainee nurses allowance as a disincentive.

Upper West regional director of the Ghana health service Dr. John Koku Awoonor Williams recently questioned why trainee nurses continue to receive allowances irrespective of the time spent in school.

There have been speculations that, even if trainee nurses fail their licensure examination and require a number of years to re-sit, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) continues to pay their allowances.

This practice, according to Dr. Awoonor Williams breeds all sorts of challenges within the profession including an increase in number of unlicensed nurses, while contributing to government’s huge wage bill. He urged the GHS to follow in the footsteps of the Ghana Education Service and scrap these allowances.

However, GRNA President Asante Krobea, counter argues that scrapping nursing trainee allowances, as has been done for teacher trainees, could be very detrimental to health care delivery in the country.

He denied that trainees who failed their final licensure examinations still benefitted from the allowance no matter how long it took to pass out. He explained that, trainees benefitted from allowance for 4 years, which is the period of their training, after which they only get their national service wages.

Recently, the Ghana Education Service scrapped allowances for its trainees, replacing it with a Students loan facility from the Student Loan Trust Fund.

Currently, nurses trainees are given an allowwance of Ghs 356 a month.