NURSES AND MIDWIVES ACT - 1972 (NRCD 117)
The members of the Council shall consist of-
(a) eleven registered nurses (including at least one registered nurse-midwife and also a military nurse) elected by the registered nurses;
(b) five registered midwives elected by the registered midwives;
(c) three registered medical practitioners appointed by the Ghana Medical Association;
(d) one person experienced in the administration of hospital and health services, and appointed by the Commissioner;
(e) one person appointed by the Commissioner responsible for Education.
(1) The Council shall be concerned with the nursing and midwifery profession and, in particular, with the organisation of the training and education of nurses and midwives, and the maintenance and promotion of standards of professional conduct and efficiency.
(2) The Council shall be responsible for-
(a) prescribing the conditions of registration of nurses and midwives and of the granting of certificates and badges to nurses and midwives;
(b) the establishment of a system of training of nurses and midwives;
(c) the selection of the subjects in which persons seeking to qualify as nurses or midwives may be examined;
(d) the establishment of courses of instruction for student nurses and midwives;
(e) the admission, subject to such conditions as the Council may prescribe, of students to pursue courses of instruction leading to qualification as nurses or midwives;
(f) the examination of student nurses and midwives.
(1) The Chairman and all members of the Council shall hold office for a term of three years but shall be eligible for re-election or re-appointment to the Council.
(2) A member of the Council (other than an ex officio member) may at any time resign his office by letter addressed to the Chairman of the Council.
(3) In the event of the death or resignation of a member before the completion of his term of office a new member shall, subject to subsection (4), be elected or (as the case may be) appointed to hold office for the remaining term of office.
(4) No election or appointment shall be made under subsection (3) if the remaining term of office is one year or less.
(1) The Council shall ordinarily meet for the exercise of its functions at such times and places as the Chairman may determine but shall meet at least once in every three months.
(2) The Chairman may, and shall on the request in writing of not less than seven members of the Council, call an extraordinary meeting of the Council at such time and place as he may determine.
(3) The Chairman, if present, shall preside at every meeting of the Council and in his absence the members of the Council present shall appoint one of their number to preside at the meeting.
(4) The quorum of the Council shall be seven.
(5) All questions proposed at a meeting of the Council shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present and in the event of an equality of votes the Chairman or person presiding shall have a second or deciding vote.
(6) The validity of any act or proceedings of the Council shall not be affected by any vacancy among, or any defect in the appointment or election of, any of the members of the Council.
(7) Subject to the preceding subsections, the Council may regulate its own procedure.
(1) The Council may appoint such committees as it considers necessary and may delegate to any such committee any of the functions of the Council.
(2) The Council may request the attendance of any person to act as adviser at any of its meetings, but any such person shall not be entitled to vote at any such meeting on any matter for decision by the Council.
(1) The Commissioner shall, on the recommendation of the Council, appoint as Secretary to the Council a public officer not below the grade of Assistant Secretary or an equivalent grade who shall be a graduate of a University approved by the Council.
(2) The Council may employ such other persons as it may consider necessary for the proper and efficient conduct of its functions.
(3) The Council shall pay to its employees such remuneration as the Council may determine.
(1) The Council shall keep proper books of account and proper records relating thereto and the account books and records of the Council shall be in such form as the Auditor-General may approve.
(2) The books and accounts of the Council shall each year be audited by the Auditor-General, who shall at all times be entitled to have access to all books, records, stores, and other matters relating to such accounts, and who shall in his report draw attention to irregularities in the accounts audited by him.
(3) The Council shall pay in respect of such audit such fee (if any) as the Auditor-General and the Council may agree or in the case of failure to agree, such fee as the Commissioner responsible for Finance may fix.
(4) It shall be the duty of the Council, as soon as possible after receiving the report of the Auditor-General under this section, to forward a copy of such report to the Commissioner responsible for Health.
(5) The Commissioner responsible for Health shall as soon as practicable upon receipt thereof, cause to be laid before the National Redemption Council a copy of the Auditor-General's report forwarded to him under this section.
The Council shall issue certificates to persons who have satisfied it that-
(a) they have attained the necessary standards of proficiency in nursing or midwifery, or
(b) they have acquired an adequate practical experience in nursing or midwifery, or
(c) they are otherwise qualified to practise as nurses or midwives.
(1) The Council shall provide separate registers for the registration of nurses and midwives.
(2) The registers shall be kept by the Registrar in such form as to show the full names, address, qualification, date of local registration, and higher or additional qualifications (if any), of the person registered, together with such remarks as may be necessary.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Decree, any person who shows to the satisfaction of the Registrar that-
(a) he holds a qualifying certificate issued by the Council under this Decree or some other qualification recognised by the Council as furnishing a sufficient guarantee that he has the knowledge and skill requisite for the efficient practice of nursing or midwifery and which is approved by the Ministry of Health; and
(b) he is of good character; and
(c) he is by law entitled to practise nursing or, as the case may be, midwifery in the country where the qualification was granted, or would, if he were a national of that country, be so entitled,
shall, upon payment of the prescribed fee for registration, be entitled to be registered as a nurse or midwife, as the case may be.
(2) Where any person holding a qualification in nursing or midwifery is unable to practise nursing or midwifery in any country because he has not acquired the practical experience required by the laws of that country with the result that he is unable to qualify for registration under subsection (1), the Council may prescribe conditions under which he may qualify for registration under subsection (1) and any such conditions may require him to be engaged for a specified period in employment in Ghana or elsewhere in one or more hospitals or institutions approved by the Council.
(3) Where the Council prescribes a condition under subsection (2) requiring any person to be employed for a specified period in a hospital or an institution, section 25(c) shall not apply to that person whilst he is so employed and acts in accordance with the condition so prescribed.
(4) Any person registered under this Decree who has obtained a higher or additional qualification recognised by the Council shall be entitled to have that qualification inserted in the appropriate register in substitution for, or in addition to, the qualification previously registered, without payment of any further fee.
(1) The Registrar shall keep a Roll of Auxiliary Nurses in such form as to show clearly the full names, address, qualifications and date of enrolment of the person enrolled, together with such remarks as may be necessary.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), no person registered under this Decree shall be enrolled as an auxiliary nurse under this section; and where a person enrolled under this section is subsequently registered under this Decree, the Registrar shall thereupon, subject to subsection (3), remove the name of that person from the Roll kept under this section.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a registered midwife (not being also a registered nurse) may be enrolled as an auxiliary nurse under this section, and such enrolment shall not affect the registration of that person as a midwife under this Decree.
(4) An auxiliary nurse shall not as such be a member of the nurses and midwives profession and shall not be entitled to practise that profession by virtue of enrolment under this section.
(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), an auxiliary nurse may perform, under the direction of a person registered under this Decree, such services of an elementary nature and under such conditions as the Council may prescribe or permit.
The Registrar shall, in January of every year, publish in the Gazette the names, addresses, dates of registration and qualifications of all registered nurses and midwives.
No erasure shall be made in any register or certified copy or extract thereof, but if an error occurs, a line of red ink shall be drawn through any word improperly inserted so as to leave the original word legible, and any word which may have been omitted shall either be interlined or written in the margin with red ink and the Registrar shall sign his name in the margin opposite the correction.
(1) Every nurse or midwife registered under this Decree shall be entitled to practise nursing or midwifery, as the case may be.
(2) Every nurse or midwife registered under this Decree not being a person employed by the Government and paid out of public funds, shall be entitled to recover in any court, with full costs of suit, reasonable charges for professional aid, advice and visits and the value of any medicine or any medical or surgical appliances rendered or supplied by him to his patients.
(3) No person shall be entitled to recover in any court any of the aforementioned charges or costs unless he is registered under this Decree.
(1) A copy of the list published in accordance with section 18 shall be evidence in all proceedings that the persons specified therein are registered under this Decree; and the absence of the name of any person from any such copy of the list shall be evidence, until the contrary is shown, that he is not registered under this Decree.
(2) All registers and all copies thereof or extracts therefrom certified under the hand of the Registrar shall be receivable in evidence in all courts.
(3) The Registrar shall produce or cause to be produced any register kept by him when required to do so by any court.
Any person who-
(a) wilfully procures himself to be registered under this Decree by means of any false or fraudulent certificate, representation or declaration; or
(b) wilfully and falsely uses any name, title or addition implying a qualification to practise nursing or midwifery; or
(c) without being registered under this Decree practises or professes to practise or publishes his name as practising nursing or midwifery, or receives any payment for practising nursing or midwifery; or
(d) wilfully destroys or damages a register kept under this Decree,
shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred cedis or to imprisonment not exceeding twelve months, or to both.
(1) There shall be a disciplinary committee of the Council consisting of-
(a) a chairman, appointed by the Commissioner, who shall be a public officer enrolled or qualified to be enrolled as a legal practitioner;
(b) two medical practitioners appointed by the Council from among its members; and
(c) a general nurse, mental nurse, public health nurse and a midwife appointed by the Council from among its members.
(2) The disciplinary committee may co-opt any person to be a member of the committee for the discharge of its functions under this Decree; but any such person shall not be entitled to vote on any matter for decision by the Committee.
(1) Where any allegation is made to the Registrar that any nurse or midwife registered under this Decree-
(a) has been convicted either in Ghana or elsewhere of an offence;
(b) has been censured by a judicial authority in relation to his professional character; or
(c) has been guilty of conduct which prima facie constitutes professional misconduct,
the Registrar, if he is satisfied that the allegation, when made under paragraph (a) or (b), is correct or, in the case of an allegation made under paragraph (c), is made in good faith, shall call upon the nurse or midwife against whom the allegation is made (hereinafter called "the practitioner") to give in writing such explanation as he may wish to make and shall thereafter forward to the Council all documents relating to the allegation, including any such written explanation.
(2) The Council, if satisfied that a prima facie case for inquiry into the allegation has been established, shall notify the practitioner accordingly, and refer the case to the disciplinary committee which shall proceed to inquire into the allegation.
(3) If for any reason the chairman of the disciplinary committee is unable to be present at any inquiry under this section the committee shall be assisted in an advisory capacity by a legal officer appointed as judicial assessor by the Attorney-General.
(4) The Council shall make and submit to the Commissioner for approval rules to regulate the procedure at inquiries held under this section.
(1) At every inquiry under section 27, the Registrar, the complainant and the practitioner shall each be entitled to appear and to be represented by a lawyer.
(2) If, after being notified of the time and place of the inquiry, the practitioner or his lawyer fails to appear, the inquiry may proceed in the absence of both or either.
(3) For the purposes of the inquiry the disciplinary committee may by writing under the hand of the chairman and, in its discretion, on the application of any party concerned, summon any person to attend a meeting of the disciplinary committee at a time and place specified in the summons and to give evidence and to produce any books, documents or writings in his custody, possession or control which he is required by the summons to produce.
(4) The chairman may administer an oath to any person appearing before the disciplinary committee and any member of the committee may examine such person upon oath.
(5) Upon the completion of the inquiry the disciplinary committee shall forward a copy of the proceedings together with its findings to the Council.
(1) Where upon a consideration of the findings of the disciplinary committee the Council, or in the event of a disagreement, the majority of the members thereof, finds the allegation against the practitioner to be proved, the Council may-
(a) reprimand the practitioner;
(b) suspend the practitioner from practice for such period as the Council may consider expedient;
(c) order the Registrar to remove the name of the practitioner from the register after the expiry of the period prescribed by section 30(1); or
(d) suspend or postpone the making of such order to the Registrar for such period as the Council may consider expedient;
and make any order as to costs.
(2) Where the Council makes a decision under subsection (1) or any order as to costs in respect of the decision, it shall cause a copy of the findings of the disciplinary committee and the Council's decision thereon to be served upon the practitioner concerned.
(1) A practitioner served under section 29(2) with the findings of a disciplinary committee and the Council's decision thereon may, not later than twenty-one days after such service, appeal against the findings of the disciplinary committee and the Council's decision thereon.
(2) In the case of a decision under section 29(1)(a) or (b), such appeal shall lie by petition to the Commissioner, who may upon hearing the appeal approve, reject or mitigate the decision of the Council; and the Council shall not proceed further until the Commissioner has disposed of the appeal or unless the appeal is withdrawn or abandoned.
(3) The decision of the Council as approved or mitigated by the Commissioner under subsection (2) shall be entered in the register by the Registrar.
(4) In the case of a decision under section 29(1)(c) or (d), such appeal shall lie to the High Court, which may upon hearing the appeal confirm, vary or annul the decision of the Council; and the Registrar shall not remove the name of a practitioner from a register until twenty-one days have elapsed from the date of service of the findings of the disciplinary committee and the decision of the Council thereon, and until he has ascertained that no appeal has been lodged or where such appeal has been lodged, until it is disposed of, withdrawn or abandoned.
Every nurse or midwife whose name has been removed from a register under this Decree may at any time apply to the Council for the restoration of his/her name to the register and the Council may, in its absolute discretion after such inquiry as it may consider desirable, order the Registrar to restore to the register the name of the nurse or midwife, and thereupon the Registrar shall restore the name accordingly.
(1) Any person who-
(a) being served with a summons to appear before the disciplinary committee fails without reasonable cause to attend or to produce any books, documents or writings which he is required by such summons to produce; or
(b) appearing before the disciplinary committee in answer to a summons refuses to be sworn or to answer any question relevant or material to the inquiry,
shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred cedis or, in default of payment, to imprisonment not exceeding twelve months:
Provided that nothing in this section shall render any person compellable to answer any question which in the opinion of the Chairman tends to incriminate such person.
(2) No proceedings shall be instituted under this section without the written consent of the Attorney-General.
(1) Where there exist training establishments to provide courses of training for state registered nurses, midwives and public health nurses, the Commissioner may by executive instrument establish Boards of Governors for all or any of those training establishments.
(2) A board of governors established by instrument under this section shall be responsible for the management, control and welfare of the training establishments to which that instrument relates, and shall perform such other functions as may be specified in the instrument or assigned to it by the Commissioner.
(3) An instrument made under this section may-
(a) specify the composition and terms of office of the relevant board;
(b) specify the procedure for the filling of vacancies;
(c) make provision in respect of meetings of the relevant board;
(d) permit the appointment of committees by the relevant board;
(e) provide for the appointment of a secretary to and the employment of staff by the relevant board;
(f) make such provision for the finances of the relevant board as the Commissioner considers to be necessary;
(g) make such other provision as is necessary or desirable for carrying out the functions of the relevant board.
(4) There shall be paid to members of a board established under this section and to persons attending meetings of the board such travelling and other allowances as the board may with the approval of the Commissioner determine.
(5) Any decision of a board as to whether or not any person should be withdrawn from a training establishment shall be final.
(1) The Commissioner shall nominate a principal to be known as Tutor-in-Charge for each training establishment on the recommendation of the Director of Medical Services.
(2) A Tutor-in-Charge shall be responsible to the board of the training establishment concerned for the maintenance of academic standards and for the social and domestic organisation and conduct of that training establishment, and in particular-
(a) for the curriculum and syllabus of that training establishment, subject to any requirements of the Council;
(b) for maintaining high standards of service within that establishment;
(c) for maintaining discipline among students and members of staff, subject to the right of such persons to appeal to the board;
(d) for maintaining discipline among daily-rated employees at that establishment;
(e) for the admission of students to that establishment;
(f) for recommending to the board the withdrawal from that establishment of any student unlikely to benefit from the course of training at that establishment;
(g) for the expenditure of the funds of that establishment.
(3) A Tutor-in-Charge shall have power -
(a) to suspend any student for misconduct and to dismiss for good cause, with the approval of the board and the knowledge of the Director of Medical Services, any student;
(b) to dismiss daily-rated employees, subject to the provisions of any enactment.
(4) A Tutor-in-Charge shall submit proper books of account to the board of the training establishment concerned in such form and at such times as the board may require.
(5) A Tutor-in-Charge shall submit to the Board and the Commissioner at the end of the academic year of the training establishment concerned a report on the activities of that establishment during that year which shall contain such information as the board or the Commissioner may require.
(6) No Tutor-in-Charge shall, except with the approval of the Commissioner, grant any loans out of the funds of the training establishment concerned.
With a view to ensuring a proper distribution of the services of nurses and midwives in private practice throughout the country, the Commissioner may enter into agreements with any nurse or midwife as to the areas in which such nurse or midwife may agree to establish his practice; and for that purpose the Commissioner may incur expenditure on making available to the nurse or midwife suitable accommodation and other facilities as inducements to the nurse or midwife to practise in a particular area.
The doing by any person of any of the following shall not by itself constitute an offence against, or a contravention of, any provision of this Decree:-
(a) the application of dressing;
(b) the practice of an indigenous system of therapeutics by a person who-
(i) is a citizen of Ghana,
(ii) does not perform any act which is dangerous to life, and
(iii) does not supply, administer or prescribe any restricted drug within the meaning of section 62 of the Pharmacy and Drugs Act, 1961 (Act 64);
(c) the giving of injections in accordance with any law for the time being in force.
The Commissioner may, after consultation with the Nurses and Midwives Council, by legislative instrument make regulations prescribing-
(a) the duties of the Registrar;
(b) the form of the registers and the procedure for registration;
(c) fees to be paid in respect of registration, proceedings under, and certificates issued under, this Decree;
(d) the procedure at inquiries before the Council;
(e) certificates, notices and other documents required for the purposes of this Decree;
(f) the preliminary standard of education, the course of training and the conduct of examination of candidates for registration;
(g) the conditions of registration;
(h) the practice of nurses and midwives;
(i) the conditions under which registered nurses and midwives may be suspended from practice,
and otherwise for carrying out the principles and purposes of this Decree.
In this Decree, unless the context otherwise requires-
"auxiliary nurse" means enrolled general nurse, enrolled mental nurse or community health nurse;
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner responsible for Health;
"financial year" means the financial year of the Government;
"nurse" means a person who has completed a programme of basic nursing education and is qualified and authorised in his country to give nursing services for the promotion of health, the prevention of illness and the care of the sick;
"registered nurse-midwife" means a person registered both as a nurse and as a midwife.
(1) The following enactments are hereby repealed:-
Nurses Ordinance (Cap. 71)
Midwives Ordinance (Cap. 72)
Midwives (Amendment) Ordinance, 1956 (No. 12)
Midwives (Amendment) Act, 1959 (No. 24)
Nurses' and Midwives' (Accra) Schools Decree, 1969 (N.L.C.D. 367).
(2) Notwithstanding the above repeals, the Nurses Regulations 1971 (L.I. 683) and the Midwives Rules (No. 4 of 1932) shall continue in force as if made under section 39 of this Decree, until modified or revoked.
(3) All registers of nurses, auxiliary nurses and midwives in use immediately before the commencement of this Decree and every document prepared or issued under any enactment repealed by this Decree shall continue in force as if kept, prepared or issued under the corresponding provisions of this Decree, until provision is otherwise made under this Decree.