Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, the Director-General of Ghana Health Service (GHS), has appealed to the leadership of the Community Health Nursing Group (CHNG) to call off the strike as their concerns were being handled.
“The solutions are not a onetime decision but a process involving multiple partners and I invite them once more to assist develop the road map in addressing these concerns,’’ he said in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency.
He said the GHS acknowledged with gratitude the good work and contribution of community health nurses in national health development.
Dr Appiah-Denkyira said the community health nurses served as frontline workers in the communities as they provided the much needed health promotion, preventive and curative services even in the remotest parts of the country and had, over the years, been able to endear themselves to all.
“The GHS wishes to assure them of our unwavering support to fulfill their mandate and we, therefore, find the strike action most unfortunate as the solution to most of the issues raised are beyond the remit of the GHS as they involve many agencies for which the GHS is playing a facilitation role,’’ he said.
Dr Appiah-Denkyira said the Ministry of Health had begun the process of upgrading all its CHN and post basic certificate midwifery centres to diploma awarding institutions.
The award of diploma was done by the universities for candidates undergoing a required course of study at the university or an affiliated institution accredited by the National Accreditation Board (NAB).
He said the challenges, however, had been the slowness by some of the health training schools achieving the accreditation requirements of the NAB.
Dr Appiah-Denkyira said any staff who had served the number of years required were permitted to take a study leave if he or she so wished.
“However the service operates a regional quota system for study leave with pay (according to the staff category required) to ensure staff are available to provide service,” he said.
Dr Appiah-Denkyira said it was also to ensure that the wage bill provided by the Ministry of Finance was not exceeded since upgraded staffs invariably applied for promotion.
He said the GHS also operated staffing norm and, hence, promotion might only be in accordance with approved establishment level such as enrolling as a distant learning student or applying for leave without pay.