The Upper West Region National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament has described as “unfair” the treatment meted out to some staff of the regional health service who applied for the position of district directors of the health service in the recent recruitment exercise conducted by the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
It claimed the process was not transparent and that all the eight applicants from the region who scored the highest national score of 75.5 per cent were disqualified without unjustifiable reasons.
It, therefore, called on the GHS to, as a matter of urgency, conduct a review or audit of the recruitment process and take the necessary remedial steps.
The Secretary of the Upper West NDC Caucus in Parliament, Dr Sebastian N. Sandaare, made the call at a press conference in Parliament yesterday.
Dr Sandaare, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, said before November 2021 the GHS commenced internal recruitment to fill vacant district-director positions across the country.
It said the process, which involved an initial shortlisting of candidates, a written examinations and a face-to-face assessment interview, saw eight staff in the Upper West Region being shortlisted for the written exam and the subsequent assessment interview.
“It is worthy of note that all eight applicants were successful at the written exam. In fact, the highest national score of 77.5 per cent came from the region with a regional average score of 50.7 per cent,” he said.
“However, and curiously, in the next stage which consisted of the face-to-face interview, results of which were not made public, none of the applicants was deemed to be successful,” he said.
Dr Sandaare said the GHS went ahead to make appointments without any form of notification to the applicants, some of them were currently acting as district directors in the UWR, on the outcome of the interview.
However, he said following a persistent request for the results of the interview and a justification for the failure to appoint anyone from the region, a letter dated August 26, 2022, from the office of the Director-General of the GHS indicated that six out of the eight applicants did not have the requisite knowledge and understanding of the management of district health directorates.
Per the letter, he said the other two applicants were disqualified because they had not served the required number of years to qualify them for the position.
“We consider the recruitment process as unjust, unfair, discriminatory and an abuse of the rights of the applicants,” he said.
Ensure regional balance
Given the treatment meted out to the applicants from the region, Dr Sandaare expressed worry that the conduct of the GHS could be “a big disincentive” to staff who had dedicated themselves to serve in one of the most deprived regions of the country”.
“It also communicates the unfortunate impression that the staff in the region are undeserving of such appointments and can thus negatively affect the staff turnover in a region that is already struggling with staffing deficit,” he said.