Health Graduates to undertake National Service
To this end all health graduates including nurses, doctors and other health workers, will, with effect from this year, undertake a year’s national service.
The Rev Veronica Darko, Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Nurses and Midwives Council of Ghana, said the Council would provide log books to monitor Structured Internship Programme under the National Service Scheme.
Rev. Darko said this at a meeting on streamlining academic calendars and the conduct of licensing examination in Accra. The meeting attracted various Principals of Nursing and Midwifery Training Institutions across the country.
The measure is in line with the policy adopted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to place all graduates on the National Service Scheme (NSS).
It is also in consonance with the National Service Act, Act 426 (1980), which mandates all Ghanaians of 18 years and above to undertake a year’s national service on completion of their tertiary education.
The Nurses and Midwives Council shall be responsible for General Nurses, Psychiatric Nurses and Midwives.
The Registrar said the log would indicate the graduate’s area of speciality and they would have to be endorsed by the supervisors.
She said under the guidelines issued by the MOH, the NSS was expected to liaise with regulatory bodies and training institutions of the Ministry to ensure the smooth implementation of the policy.
Under the guidelines for the Nurses and Midwives Council, MOH will among other things, top up with allowances for interns who accept posting to deprived areas.
Rev. Darko recalled that the Nurses and Midwives Council had been responsible for the preparation of the Academic Calendar since the inception of the Registered General Nursing/Registered Mental Health Nursing programmes.
However, she noted that with time the institutions were left to prepare their own academic calendars while the Council conducted the licensing examination at the end of fourth and sixth semesters depending on their programme.
According to her, this had created problems with some institutions presenting their students for the licensing examination late.
“Most of the schools presented their documents on the last day of the deadline creating pressure on the staff of the Council. Others submitted their documents as late as between 2-5 weeks after the deadline, that is, six to 11 weeks after notification,” he added.
Rev. Darko said the practice had been creating confusion in the Council and the impression had been created in the eyes of the public that it was the Council that refused to accept the document that left the fate of students was in the balance.
“It is our expectation that the academic calendar that would be agreed on would make it possible for the Council to conduct its licensing examinations and release the results early enough to coincide with the commencement of date of the National Service exercise nationwide,” she said.