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‘You’re free to go now’ – Gov’t scraps bonding of trainee nurses, midwives

Government has scrapped the system of bonding trainee nurses and midwives in the country on the back of its inability to employ the thousands of graduates currently pushing for jobs in the public health sector.

“Bonding is stopped now,” Deputy Health minister Tina Mensah announced Thursday but did not give details on when the decision was taken by government.

Government in 2005 introduced the bonding of trainee nurses and midwives to curb the brain drain in the health sector, which it said, was impacting negatively on health delivery in the country.

Under the system, nurses trained in public health training institutions had to serve in Ghana for five years before they could leave the shores of the country to practice elsewhere.

A decade after, government began a review of the bonding system with the view to cancelling it in order to allow nurses and midwives who graduate to seek employment in the private sector and outside the country without having to serve in Ghana.

Speaking on the side-lines of the 4th annual general meeting and scientific conference of the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, Ms Mensah said graduates can now leave to practice anywhere in the world once they are done with their national service.

“Now it is no more there so you’ve not been bonded,” she emphasised, adding, “now that they are no more bonded, you’re free to go”.

She indicated that the trainee allowance being paid should not be misconstrued as a form of bonding, saying, “When you’re given allowances it doesn’t mean you’ve been bonded”.

“Those who were bonded they cannot go [outside Ghana now] because when you make your application, they will make a search on it and then find out you’ve been bonded and you cannot go out there,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Rector for the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, Hannah Akua Oparepea Acquah has appealed to the sector ministry to secure permanent accommodation for the college as their rent is due to expire in two months’ time.

“By December, our tenancy agreement is ending and we all know that it’s not just easy but not sustainable to rent a place for such work,” she indicated.


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