The Health Ministry has refuted reports that it has placed a ban on employing nurses trained by private institutions.

Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Tony Goodman, said contrary to claims, the ministry employed 11,000 nurses trained by both public and private institutions in 2015.

A group, Coalition of Unemployed Nurses (CUN), has accused the Health Ministry of freezing employment of nurses trained in private nursing institutions.

The group claimed the ban came about because nurses trained in the private schools have refused to sign the government bond.

Bonding of nurses is a mutual agreement between the government and the nurses to the effect that after their education, the nurses are expected to work for the ministry for a maximum of at least five years before leaving for either a higher education or employment in the private sector.

Speaking on the MultiTV current affairs programme, PM EXPRESS, Public Relation Officer of the group, John Nketia said: “our issue is that employment should be based on merit and not about bonding trainees.”

He explained because the nursing field is a specialized field where “we cannot use our certificate to work in the banks and other places apart from the hospital and the clinics when we are not employed we appear vulnerable.”

Nketia averred the "sneaked policy" was meant to bar nurses trained in private accredited training institutions from being absorbed into the system.

In his reaction, Mr Goodman said it would be misleading for anyone to describe the government policy as "sneaked" in, noting “a policy which has been in place over two or three decades ago cannot be sneaky.”

According to him, the government of Ghana took the decision to bond nurses because of the “attrition in the health sector where the nurses and doctors left the country for greener pastures.”

He, however, noted that for some time now, the government has reviewed the policy because the ministry was often pestered by nurses who want to pursue further education.

“So quickly we have to withdraw the bond from the system and most nurses were happy because it now gave them the opportunity to further their education immediately they start working,” he said.

This has motivated the government to introduce the college of nursing and midwifery where nurses can go and specialize in any other nursing field, he added.

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