The Ministry of Health has dismissed claims purported by the Ghana Nursing and Midwifery Trainees’ Association (GNMTA) that government owes its members eight months allowance.

A communique signed by the Chief Director of the Ministry indicated that the allegation levelled against his outfit by the group is false.

According to Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, the Ministry is not indebted to these trainees for the alleged time frame.

“The Ministry of Health wishes to assure the public that it does not owe any student to the tune of eight months as stated in the press release from GNMTA, neither has the Ministry stopped the payment of trainee allowances to students of government health training institutions.”

His comment comes after GNMTA threatened to embark on a nationwide demonstration should government fail to pay its members the eight-month allowance.

Health Ministry rejects claim of owing trainees 8 months allowance
Health Ministry rejects claim of owing trainees 8 months allowance

The leadership of the GNMTA further issued a one-week ultimatum to government to pay the arrears.

“To this end, we wish to sternly give the government an ultimatum of this week effect from 26 April 2021 to get these allowances paid or reach a fruitful consensus with various heads of Health Training Institutions to be considerate enough to reach flexible terms to allow students pay fees as well allow students to sit for the end of semester exams, ” the statement noted.

Responding to the one-week ultimatum, Mr Oku-Afari indicated that the payment in arrears is for a period of three months and not 8 months as alleged by the students.

Explaining the reasons behind the delay in payment, he stated that the outbreak of the Covid-19 disrupted the academic calendar.

“The 2019/20 final year students who were due to complete their studies in June 2020 together with other continuing students of that year, had parts of their academic calendar disrupted by the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease in March 2020 and the subsequent lockdown of the country, which affected all educational institutions including Health Training Institutions.”

However, the Chief Executive stated that the Ministry is on track to paying the three-month arrears of the trainees.

“The payments are in arrears for three months (April, May and June 2020) to the 2019/2020 final year students who completed their courses in December 2020

“The arrears for the 2 cohorts of students as mentioned earlier are being processed for payment. we, therefore, call on the students to exercise restraint and wait for the payments to be made soon.”