The Rotational Nurses and Midwives Association (RNMA) has lamented the deliberate delay in payment of allowances to its members, insisting government must make payment and increase allowances as well.
According to the association, the impact of the government’s inability to pay members allowances during their one-year mandatory service which officially ends in July is unbearable. It revealed that the situation has caused untold hardship on its members further exacerbating members’ already sorry state.
Contained in a statement dated July 25, 2023, the association indicated that the July 2022 year batch of the Rotational Nurses And Midwives have successfully completed their one-year (12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days) service without a penny from the government. In light of this, the association stated that members have been left to battle for their survival “even as we are faithfully rendering our services to this country”.
“The leadership of the Rotational Nurses and Midwives Association (RNMA) sympathize with all the July 2022 batch of Rotational Nurses and Midwives and those currently offering their service to our dear nation (January 2022 to July 2023 batch of rotation). It is sad to remind the government that, the Nurses and Midwives who have been posted to do their service are dying of hunger and frustrations… Our take home allowance is nothing to write home about in the current state of this economy, we demand an immediate increase of our allowances.”Rotational Nurses and Midwives Association
Furthermore, the association stated that not only are its members owed service arrears but also, the 2023-year batch is owed eleven months of unpaid student trainees allowance. Additionally, it noted that the 2023 January batch of the Rotational Nurses And Midwives have also done seven months (28 weeks) without a penny.
“It is obvious that the health sector is left out of the priorities of this country. We are not motivated enough as Nurses and Midwives in this country and if the opportunity comes for us to seek greener pastures elsewhere, you think we won’t go?”Rotational Nurses and Midwives Association
RNMA members risking their lives
Furthermore, the association highlighted that its members risk their lives and that of their families like any regular nurse and midwife. However, it noted that their allowances do not commensurate their efforts.
To this end, the RNMA called on stakeholders to support their advocacy for government to do more for its members. It further called on the ministry of health and ministry of finance to begin payment of its members as well as allowances of students’ trainees.
“Rotational Nurses and Midwives in this country deserve better than this. Those of us who did our rotation in different regions cannot return back home because we don’t have the means to transport ourselves back, we are suffering.”Rotational Nurses and Midwives Association
It will be recalled that in May this year, the Rotational Nurses and Midwives Association called on the Nurses and Midwifery Council to take keen interest and ensure the payment of their 10 months outstanding allowance.
The group has in recent times been engaging various stakeholders including the Health and Finance Ministries to give them clearance for payments to be made, however, that has not yielded any positive results.
President of the Rotational Nurses and Midwives Association, Jasper Dzorkah, lamented the impact the delayed payment is having on members of the association. He expressed the group’s plan to withdraw its services or embark on a demonstration exercise if government fails to pay members.
Mr Dzorkah emphasized that stakeholders must show keen interest in what is going on, as it “is not fair to look at your younger ones working on an empty stomach for 10-11 solid months, and nothing has been said about it”. Admittedly, he stated that despite the fact that the economy is in crisis, MPs and Ministers are being paid.
To this end, he called on government to expedite payment to Rotational Nurses and Midwives in the country.