The Ministry of Health has asked three heads of health institutions to step aside to give way to investigations following reports of illegal charging.
The Minister of Health Alex Segbefia gave this instruction at a press conference in Accra today (Wednesday).
He also indicated that board of the Mampong Midwifery has been dissolved over the same matter.
He also expressed the Ministry’s dissatisfaction over the practice. He argued that the exorbitant nature of such fees “is defeating the purpose of getting those genuinely interested in providing health care to the institutions as against those who can afford it.” This he said will ultimately result in the production of professional whose dedication to duty will be in question.
“This practice has escalated to the extent that some schools are adding extra items as additional levies for the academic year, e.g. Cement, electronic system fees, stationary amongst others,” Segbefia said.
He added that all Nursing Training Institutions are being monitored and further actions may be taken regarding other schools.
The Health Minister, therefore, advised Heads and school managements to take note and observe that:
1. Only the approved fees from the Ministry of Health as agreed on with Conference Of Heads Health Training Institutions (COHHETI) should be charged.
2. For the avoidance of doubt, approved fees for the 2016/2017 academic year is GHC 1400 without the above-mentioned items. However, only schools that opted for the Cafeteria Services can charge additional GHC 600 for feeding as agreed by COHHETI.
3. Fees for additional items such as feeding fees, books, accommodation, uniforms, sports kits, etc should be considered as optional and should not be made compulsory for students.
4. Where there is the need to charge for additional fees as indicated above, approval should be sought from the Health Training Institutions Secretariat of the Ministry of Health before students are levied.
Alex Segbefia, therefore, asked that health institutions that have charged unapproved fees refund the excess money to the students.
He finally expressed hope that all health training institutions would adhere to the directives given for uniformity in the system.