The Ministry of Health (MOH) stated on Wednesday that the formal appointment of all health professionals takes effect from the day of assumption of duty at a facility.
?Depending on the requirements of the approved regulatory body, certain categories of personnel are required to undergo a period of internship ranging from three months to one year before being considered as qualified for employment.
?Any form of attachment to a facility prior to this is therefore not considered as employment,? MOH stated in a statement signed by Mr Daniel Osman Mwin, Head of Public Relations and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The statement was in reaction to a petition on backdating of appointments of Junior Nurses and Midwives presented by the Junior Nurses and Midwives Group at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
The statement said MOH?s position was guided by its objectives of ensuring the wellbeing of all its employees in accordance with government?s guiding principles of integrity and accountability.
The statement said the Ministry also had extensive stakeholders? consultations as well as a review of relevant financial guidelines of the central government before arriving at its position.
The statement explained that there were three distinct stages of employment of professionals trained in institutions of the Ministry: the student status, intern status and employee status.
It said the student status was the period when the trainee is in the training institution and was being taken through the school?s curriculum as prescribed by the regulatory body; this training may include theory, practicals and fieldwork and remuneration for this period is the trainee allowance.
The intern status referred to the period a trainee who had satisfied all the requirements of the institution and regulatory body, underwent a supervised practical attachment for a defined period and was assessed to ascertain his or her competency in the relevant field, it added.
It further stated that the remuneration given was the intern allowance. The period when a successful intern is employed by an Agency of the MOH and given an appointment letter to that effect was referred to as the employee status.
?This appointment, it should be noted well, is based on the availability of vacancies in the Agency and takes effect on the day of assumption of duty of the professional and subsequently is paid salaries and allowances as prescribed in the conditions of service.
?In consideration of the above mentioned statuses, the Ministry wishes to inform all trainees who commenced internship that they will receive internship allowances for the period and will be appointed based on their assumption of duty after the internship.
Additionally, the Ministry assured all affected junior nurses and midwives that the payment of all internship allowances owed them would be made by the end of October 2012 and this will include arrears starting from January 2011.
?We also wish to explain to all interns in particular and all health workers in general that delays associated with the payment of intern allowances and salaries is not deliberate but as a result of technical difficulties facing the staff of the IPPD Unit, as well as the huge workload associated with the migration of health workers onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS)?.
The Health Ministry assured all concerned that steps had been taken to ensure that subsequent batches received their allowances on time.