Some nursing and midwifery training institutions across the country are charging unapproved fees, contrary to the Ministry of Health’s (MoH’s) directive not to do so.
Some of the bills stumbled upon by the Daily Graphic showed that those institutions were charging a combined fee of almost GH¢2,400, as against the MoH directive instructing them to charge GH¢1,400 as normal fee and an additional GH¢600 as feeding fee, where necessary.
Continuing students going to school in September this year have been given bills of GH¢2,055 and additional charges of GH¢336, totalling GH¢2,391.
The itemised bills include PTA dues of GH¢150 per semester, feeding fee of GH¢700 per semester, university affiliation, GH¢100 per year; developmental levy, GH¢170 per year; hostel user fee, GH¢80 per semester, and utilities, GH¢200 per semester.
Another training institution charges a total of GH¢3,080 for the first semester of the third year.
Some of the items on the bill include computer maintenance, GH¢200 per semester; educational trip study tour, GH¢140 per semester; field clinical practice, GH₵190 per semester; utilities, GH¢400; development fund, GH¢200, and SRC dues, GH¢200.
Others which have been categorised as additional fees for books total GH¢336.
The recalcitrant institutions have urged all students to pay their full fees before registering for the semester.
In an interview, a source at the MoH said fees for the institutions had not been increased and described the decision by the institutions involved to charge above the approved fees as illegal.
It said the ministry was even considering a further reduction of the existing approved fees.
“We are waiting to take it to Parliament for approval when it resumes sitting in September,” the source revealed.
In August last year, the then Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, suspended heads of three health training institutions for charging unapproved fees.
The schools — the Mampong Nursing and Midwifery College in the Ashanti Region, the Cape Coast Nursing and Midwifery Training College in the Central Region and the School of Dispensary Optics, Oyoko, in the Ashanti Region — charged students for items including cement, electronic systems and stationery for the 2016/2017 academic year.
The MoH reminded the institutions that “only the approved fees from the ministry, as agreed on with the Conference of Heads of Health Training Institutions (COHHETI), should be charged”.
It further stated that “approved fees for the 2016/2017 academic year is GH¢1,400. However, only schools that opted for cafeteria services can charge an additional GHc600 for feeding, as agreed by COHHETI”.
“Fees for additional items, such as feeding, books, accommodation, uniforms, sports kits, among others, should be considered as optional and should not be made compulsory for students,” it added.
Source: Graphic Online