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Patients stranded in hospitals as health workers begin strike

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File photo: Demonstrating nurses

Scores of patients have been left stranded in hospitals across the country following health workers’ strike on Monday, September 21, 2020.

The nurses, midwives and other service providers followed through with their threats to withdraw their services over what they say is poor conditions of service.

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Although the National Labour Commission secured an interlocutory injunction to prevent the action by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), the aggrieved health workers said they have not been officially served.

The striking groups include GRNMA, Ghana Physicians Assistants Association and Ghana Association of Registered Anaesthetists among others.

At the country’s number one referral centre, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, patients who had been left unattended to lamented the struggle they have had to endure.

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“They are telling us that because they are on strike we should take our patients away. But my question is where to?” A relative of a patient told JoyNews.

Another added that: “We came around 7:am and went for our card. But they declined to give it to us because they are not admitting new cases because they are on strike.”

The Northern Region was not left out of the fray since the industrial action kicked in on Monday morning.

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During her visit to some of the health facilities in the region, Joy News reporter Martina Bugri said that many of them had laid down their tools.

“Normally at the entrance, the nurses are the first group of people you will meet. They will take your vital statistics. That table is completely empty today, ” she said.

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She told Fred Smith on Joy FM‘s Midday News that many patients have had to jump from one facility to the other while those who came from afar were helpless as to what other options may be available to them.

“I spoke to one patient who told me she brought in her sister who had blood saw, she was vomiting. Up till now she has not seen a doctor and she was in tears,” she said of a pregnant patient.

In the North East Region, Eliasu Tanko revealed the action is being replicated in full force.

At the Walewale Hospital, “one of the doctors has already announced at the female ward that all patients should leave and seek healthcare treatment elsewhere.”

Reports indicate the development remains unchanged in other regions across the country.

This comes at a time when the health professionals are at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronavirus.

According to the groups, numerous negotiations and meetings on improvement of their conditions of service have failed to yield the desired results.



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