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No logistics, no work – Striking psychiatric nurses insist

Nurses at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital have refused to return to work although government has smade available to the facility some drugs and some consumables, and an amount of money, with a promise to do more.

The spokesperson for the aggrieved nurses, Philip Frimpong Okyere, told Richard Dela Sky on Eyewitness News that they will only resume duty if government provides them with the needed logistics and essential medication.

“We told them, the National Labbour Commission ((NLC) that, we will actually go back to work when we see those things on the table. They have brought some of the medication but not all; and then the logistics are yet to come. So we have told them in clear terms that we are waiting, they should bring the logistics because we cannot administer medication and dress somebody’s wound without gloves. So our argument is very simple; just give us the material so that we go back to the workplace, in the absence of those things we maintain our stand, we are not going there,” he added.

Nurses at the facility have been on strike since Monday, over the poor working conditions they are forced to work under.

However, the Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia, told Citi News on Thursday that, government has given some GHc300,000 and drugs worth GHc120,000 to the hospital to cushion them in the meantime.

This is a very insiginificant amount considering that the facility needs several millions of cedis to run effectively and pay it’s debt.

Mr. Segbefia has assured of  additional provisions by the end of the week.

“We have made some funding available with more to follow by the end of the week, we’ve also made pharmaceuticals available with more to follow and we are on top of the issue currently. We gave a cheque GHc300, 000 yesterday but we have gone out ourselves and bought drugs to the tune of about GHc120, 000.”

“We’ve also given some foodstuffs because even though people donated food there was a lack of protein so   we were able to give a one month consignment of frozen fish which was collected first thing yesterday morning, so both on the food side, the pharmaceuticals side and the consumable which we are dealing with today, all things should be back to normal to cover them till at least the budget is read again till February.”

But the nurses say they will only go back to work when the logistics are provided.

“We have stated  and maintained that, the work place poses a danger to our lives in the sense that; in the absence of those logistics, in the absence those essential emergency medication, we cannot manage aggression, we can’t manage the mental patients, if we do it, it means that we should accept the risk of infection and personal injury that will come as a result of the aggressiveness,” Okyere added.

Return to work

The National Labour Commission (NLC) in their usual posture, on Wednesday ordered the nurses to return to work, and asked government to provide the facility the needed logistics and funds.

I’am unaware of strike by Accra Psychiatric Hospital nurses

President John Dramani Mahama had earlier stated that, although he is unaware about the recent strike, he is committed to resolve the issues to improve mental health delivery.

The Hospital has in recent times been battling with a number of challenges that compelled it to among other things close its Out Patient Department (OPD) few weeks ago. –

By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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