The Upper East Regional Chief Anaesthetist, Mr Samuel Alagkora Akolgo has emphasized the need for nurses and midwives in the Region to renew their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana (NMC).
He observed that some nurses and midwives of all categories practised with expired PINs and Axillary Identification Numbers (AINs) in health facilities across the Region, insisting that it was illegal for them to practise in Ghana without valid PINs and AINs.
“It is against the law in Ghana for nurses and midwives to practise with expired PINs. If you stay in your house with your expired PIN, no problem, but once you step into the health facility and practise as a nurse or midwife, you have violated the law.”
Mr Akolgo, who is also the First Vice President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) said this when he chaired a meeting of nurses and midwives at the Sandema Hospital in the Builsa North Municipality.
He reiterated that it was highly unpardonable for nurses and midwives to practise the profession with invalid PINs and AINs, “So let the information get to those who still have such expired PINs that the law will have no mercy on them if they are caught.”
The Chief Anaesthetist explained that nurses and midwives could pay for the renewal of their PINs and AINs, get their receipts as evidence of payment pending the issuance of the cards by the NMC.
“Once you have your receipt, it serves as evidence that you have renewed your PIN or AIN just that your card may not be ready. If there is any problem, you will be covered by the law because you have done your part as a professional.
“It will now be the duty of the NMC, which is the regulatory body, to generate your card. Once you have made payment and your receipt and documents indicate that you have done the needful, you will have no issue with the law,” Mr Akolgo said.
The GRNMA’s First Vice President also admonished nurses and midwives to ensure that their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards were active to enable them access healthcare services.
“I cannot understand why as health professionals who should lead the way and encourage members of the public to have valid NHIS cards will rather be the ones with invalid cards.
“Some nurses say they keep renewing their NHIS cards but don’t use them. And so they feel reluctant to renew them after expiration. It is better to keep an active card because you can never tell when you will be a patient,” he advised.
Mr Stephen Adombire, the Acting Nurse Manager of the Hospital, called on nurses and midwives in the facility to adhere to the appropriate dress code as professionals, and reminded them of the need to strictly ensure confidentiality of patients and clients in the Hospital.
He said nurses and midwives were the majority and directly involved in patient care, and therefore entreated them to be guided by the values of people centred, professionalism, integrity, team work, innovation and discipline, which were the core values of the Ghana Health Service.
Mr Adombire added that nurses and midwives must be guided by the principles of customer care in their interactions with patients and clients in the Hospital to redeem the dwindling image of the facility, and the nursing and midwifery professions.
Given the opportunity for nurses and midwives to put forward their concerns for redress, some of them appealed to leadership to ensure that there were adequate equipment for them to render health care services.
They also appealed to management to take advantage of Builsa radio, a community radio station in the Municipality to educate members of the public on happenings in the Hospital, and also dispel the misconceptions among some sections of the public about the facility.