Three heads of health institutions have been directed to step aside following reports of illegal charging of fees to allow for further investigations into the scandal.
They include heads of the Mampong Nursing and Midwifery College, Cape Coast Nursing Midwifery Training College and School Dispensary optics, Oyoko.
The board of the Mampong Midwifery have further been dissolved with a new board to be reconstituted soon.
The Minister of Health Hon Alex Segbefia who revealed this in a press briefing on Wednesday said the MoH is unhappy about this practice because the exorbitant nature of such fees is defeating the purpose of getting those genuinely interested in providing health care into the institutions as against those who can afford it.
“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” Mr Segbefia said.
He quickly added that all Nursing Training Institutions are being monitored and further actions may be taken regarding other schools.
“The Ministry of Health will not tolerate any institution under its mandate disregarding lay down policies and procedures.” he intoned.
Mr Alex Segbefia in his statement 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.
Mr Alex Segbefia remarked that,he was optimistic that all institutions would adhere to the directives to ensure coherence and uniformity in the fees charged by Health Training Institutions across the country.
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.