The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, says the quota system introduced this year for admitting students to nursing and midwifery training institutions is to address the issues of equity, quality and capacity in the training institutions.
He told Parliament yesterday that the Ministry of Health collaborated with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and other stakeholders in arriving at the decision.
Mr Manu said each training institution was assessed based on the number of tutors available (permanent and temporary), number of classrooms, equipment for practicals and courses offered.
Besides, he said, the number of health professionals currently in the system was also considered critically.
“It was after these scientific analyses, with the help of analysis software, that the quota was given to individual institutions,” the health minister said.
He was answering an urgent question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bia West, Dr Augustine Tawiah, as to whether the Ministry of Health had established admission quotas for nursing and midwifery training institutions for the 2017 admission period.
Categories of health professionals
Mr Manu said over the years the concentration had been skewed towards few auxiliary staff, particularly the nursing assistants, leaving out other critical health professionals whose work bordered more on preventive aspects of healthcare delivery.
For instance, he said, in 2016, 8,046 of the health assistant clinical were admitted while only 3,013 of the preventive nurse were enrolled.
This year the decision was to have more preventive health nurses, Mr Manu explained.
Consequently, he said, the ministry and its collaborators had to increase the intake of registered community nursing from 817 in 2016 to 2,346 this year.
Again, the health minister said, in an attempt to ensure equity in the training of all categories of health professionals, the admission of students for the midwifery category was increased from 3,810 in 2016 to 4,178 in 2017.
“In effect, a critical look at the quota this year has been based on a planned human resource policy and would, therefore, not affect availability of nurses in our health facilities.
“These steps are also being taken to have the appropriate skill-mix that will meet World Health Organisation’s requirement that will ultimately result in an enhanced service delivery and better health outcomes in Ghana,” he said.