Over 2,000 nurses and midwives who have not been paid their full salaries and other benefits in the last three years have threatened to lay down their tools on November 14, 2016, if the government fails to settle all their arrears.

The nurses and midwives who form the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association of Ghana say efforts to get the government to pay them all their outstanding salaries and benefits have not yielded any results.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, October 27, 2016, the president of the GRNMA, Kwaku Asante-Krobea said “although our checks with the IPPD Unit of the Ministry of Health indicates that over eight thousand of the claim forms have been validated, our nurses and midwives are yet to be paid their salary arrears. There are hundreds of the nurses and midwives who have worked for various periods up to sixteen months who have not been paid a pesewa for the services they are rendering to mother Ghana.”

Mr Asante-Krobea also called for the abolishment of government’s policy which requires the accountant general’s department to pay them only three months of arrears irrespective of the number of months one is owed.

He said the Ministry of Health and its Agencies, as well as the Ministry of Finance, must revert to the old policy where all salary arrears are paid at a go.

The association also raised concerns over non-posted graduate nurses and midwives, charging of promotion interview fees and the second tier pension scheme.

It also demanded that allowances of student nurses and midwives of not less than GHC500 be paid by the end of November.

Mr Asante-Krobea said due to the above concerns, the association has set up a roadmap of action.

He said the association has set “November 1 to 6 as days for wearing red armbands to register their displeasure,” adding that “on November 7 to 13, we will withdraw all OPD services, only Emergency and maternity cases will receive attention.”

Mr Asante-Krobea said industrial action, however, begins on November 14 with nurses withdrawing all services apart from in-patients care if their concerns are not addressed.