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Court slams injunction on nursing exam

court_hammerThe Accra High Court last Friday granted an interim injunction restraining the Nurses and Midwives Council (NMC) and its registrar from proceeding to conduct the Nursing Licensure Examination slated for today, Monday, November 2, 2009.

The order of the court, presided over by Mr. Justice Kwabena Asuman-Adu, followed an ex-parte motion filed on Friday, October 30, 2009 by counsel for Gifty Mensah, Barbara Baaba Baidoo, Richard Mensah, Dogbenu, and other Nursing students of the University of Ghana School of Nursing who were denied registration by the NMC to write this year’s licensure examination.

The examination will qualify the plaintiffs and their fellows to practice their profession. After reading the affidavit of Gifty Mensah, a Nursing student of C3 Room 1, Sakumono, Accra, first plaintiff/applicant with the authority of the other plaintiffs, filed on October 30, 2009, in support of their ex-parte motion and upon hearing the plaintiff’s counsel, Ebenezer Gohoho, the court restrained the defendants from proceeding to conduct the licensure examination without the plaintiff/applicants.

The court said its order should remain for 10 days from Friday, within which the defendants must be put on notice for the application to be determined on its merit. In an affidavit in support of the motion, Gifty Mensah said she had the authority of the other plaintiffs to depose to the facts which were within her personal knowledge.

She said she entered the University of Ghana School of Nursing in the 2004/05 academic year, having obtained aggregate 19 in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE), which was far ahead of the University of Ghana requirement of a minimum aggregate of 24. The affidavit denied allegations by the NMC in the October 29, 2009 edition of the Daily Graphic that the students entered the University of Ghana with aggregate 25 and above in their SSSCE.

The Daily Graphic in its October 29, 2009 edition reported that about 100 prospective nurses who had graduated from the School of Nursing of the University of Ghana, Legon, would not take part in this year’s licensure examination which would qualify them to practice their profession.

That, according to the report, resulted from the refusal of the NMC to register them for the examination, which would begin on December 18, 2009. The council said the graduates did not meet the entry requirements to pursue the Nursing Programme, although they had gone through a four-year studies at the university.

The affidavit referred to a letter dated April 9, 2009 written by the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, on behalf of the Minister of Health, after a stakeholders’ meeting with the NMC, College of Heath Sciences, University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the National Accreditation Board, directing the defendants to allow the students to write the Nursing Licensure examination.

The said letter said the meeting agreed that there should be a general amnesty for the students who were not indexed by the NMC.  However, the affidavit said, “The defendants have refused to comply with the directive and have also refused to allow my colleagues and I to write the examination.” “I am advised and I verily believe the same to be true that my colleagues and I will suffer irreparable damage if the defendants go ahead to conduct the examinations herein without us when, indeed, they know, or ought to have known, that we do quality to register for and write the examinations,” it said.

The affidavit contended that the defendants were wrong in refusing to carry out the directive of the Ministry of Health in the matter. “The conduct of the defendants is causing the plaintiffs and the other students much pain, loss and hardship and they will continue to conduct themselves in the same manner unless restrained by an order of this honourable house,” it said.

The affidavit said Gifty completed her course in June 2008 and was awarded a degree in Nursing with Psychology with First Class Honours. “I and the other plaintiffs and students who have the same interest as we have been making efforts to have the defendants herein register us to write the Nursing Licensure examinations herein but to no avail,” it said.

Source: modernghana

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