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Ankaful psychiatric nurses to strike against their director

Staff of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital in the Central Region, have threatened to declare a strike on Thursday if government fails to remove the facility’s Medical Director, Dr. Eugene Dordoye from his post.

The nurses gave government the 3-day ultimatum after earlier threats to down their tools and release all patients on admission at the hospital over the continued presence of Dr. Dordoye at the facility if their concerns were not addressed.

The Deputy Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Psychiatric Nurses’ Group, Benjamin Anewotey, told Citi News that despite discussions with officials of the Health Ministry on their demands for Dr. Dordoye’s removal, government’s inaction had prompted them to issue the ultimatum.

“We’ve spoken with the Minister and we were expecting that the Minister was going to talk about it and whether he [Dr Dordoye] is going or not. We gave them an ultimatum up to Wednesday – the third working day – that they should go back to the Minister and report back to him so that he’ll look at whatever has happened and advise himself or give a definitive decision. If not, on Thursday we will lay down our tools because we can’t work with him,” he said.

The nurses had earlier complained that the gross disrespect shown by Dr. Dordoye to staff and mismanagement of the hospital is causing them ‘psychological and emotional’ distress.

“We are emotionally and psychologically breaking down and we do not have peace of mind to care for our patients. We need peace and sound mind to care for our patients. The Accra people have a saying that ‘when the frog comes out of the water and says the crocodile is dead, you don’t challenge him’. In the same vein, when the psychiatric health workers who provide care to the mentally challenged say they are psychologically and emotionally breaking down, don’t condemn them, take them seriously,” a representative of the nurses,  Daniel Danso Sarpong said at the time.

Dr. Eugene Dordoye

He had also claimed that despite an investigation by the Mental Health Authority into their allegations, a report was yet to be presented, despite several assurances.

“The fact-finding committee sent by the Mental Health Authority commenced their investigations on the 24th of October, and ended on 26th October. They assured us that the findings of the investigations would be made available within one week, but as we speak today, we have not heard anything from the Mental Health Authority. The Psychiatric Nurses group is informing the whole world, the Minister of Health and the Mental Health Authority that we cannot continue to be subjected to this kind of mental torture at the workplace.”

Benjamin Anewotey reiterated this point, stating that the nurses would not go to work on Thursday if Dr. Dordoye is still in charge of the hospital by then, suggesting that the differences between the two parties were irreconcilable.

“For us at the hospital, we are not going to work. He doesn’t trust us and a lot of other issues. So he can work with those that he trusts if only they can manage it. But we are saying that we can’t work with him anymore, and if they want to impose him on us then those who want to do that should come and work with him,” he added.

By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana