The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has appealed to striking Community Health Nurses (CHNs) to call off their strike as actions are in progress to address their grievances.
According to the service, the solutions are not a one-time decision but a process involving multiple partners.
In a press statement issued in Accra, Director General of the GHS, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira invited CHNs to assist develop a road map in addressing concerns raised.
CHNs are on strike protesting a change of their name to Nurse Assistants, which they say is a demotion and also limits their opportunities to upgrade to diploma level, which will pave the way for them to pursue higher education.
According to the statement, the name CHNs will be maintained, same as the name Enrolled Nurse, who undergoes similar training.
Dr. Appiah-Denkyira pointed out that some of the health training schools have been delayed in achieving accreditation from the National Accreditation Board.
He assured that the upgrading of CHN and post-basic certificate midwifery centres to diploma-awarding institutions is in progress.
He added that diploma certificates will be awarded by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to staff who successfully complete an access upgrading course.
“This arrangement put in place by the MoH, NMC, the university and GHS is to ensure that CHNs have the opportunity to upgrade themselves without going to take the WASSCE again,” he reiterated.
Dr. Appiah-Denkyira noted that staff are required to go on a study leave after serving for a number of years, but that has not been possible because of rising wage bill.
“The service also operates a staffing norm, hence promotion may only be in accordance with approved establishment level. (Distant learning, leave without pay, etc are also available)”, he added.
Dr Appiah-Denkyira emphasised that the GHS acknowledges the good work and contribution of CHNs in the health development of this country, being the frontline workers in the community who provide the much-needed health promotion, preventive and curative services, even in the remotest part of the country, and have over the years been able to endear themselves to all.