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Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital Director apologizes to striking nurses

Dr. Eugene Dordoye

The Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital’s Director, Dr. Eugene Dordoye, has in a four-page letter explaining what he believes may have angered nurses of the Hospital who are demanding his removal, apologized to them.

Dr. Eugene Dordoye says it appears the approach he used in attempting to implement his reforms, may have angered the staff.

He thus apologized in a letter to the nurses, who started a sit-down strike, today [Thursday], leaving patients stranded.

The nurses had earlier given the government a three-day ultimatum and threatened to declare a strike, if the government fails to heed their calls.

They are accusing the Medical Director of maladministration and gross disrespect to subordinates.

But the Medical Director, who is reportedly out of the country in a letter released today [Thursday], said, “I apologize unreservedly to all staff of Ankaful psychiatric hospital who have been hurt by my approach, the CEO, MHA [Mental Health Authority], Central Regional Minister, Health Minister and all others affected and I will surely improve and manage the change better than I have done in the past going forward.”

In the apology letter sighted by Citi News, dated November 20 and addressed to the Health Minister, Dr. Dordoye, said he generally felt the nurses “are not happy about the new systems to improve quality mental health care such as weekly subscribers meetings.”

Recalling some of the developments since he took over in January 2016, he noted that “Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners were acting as doctors formerly and I requested they work per their job description.”

He also said he empowered an auditor to streamline expenditure and ensure accountability.

“These and many other measures I took to improve quality of work, which has improved mental healthcare measured by significantly increased IGF and decreased mortality and morbidity but has courted hatred from me by bringing these changes.”

Genesis of impasse

According to Dr. Dordoye, the upheaval started after an orientation schedule for newly recruited staff (nurses and others) was perceived as punishment for nurses in particular.”

“The misconception was created because the nurse manager made an error on the orientation schedule she signed were nurses were to spend a week each in some departments such as kitchen and laundry which were supposed to be a day each [or six working hours].”

This rotation was normal practice and it was not only meant for nurses, according to him.

The nurses’ group, Psychiatric Nurses Group, however, asked to be withdrawn from the schedule because some aspects were outside their job description.

But the Nurse Manager, after some subsequent dialogue, admitted that “it was an error on her part that she labeled it ‘rotation’ instead of ‘orientation’ and those departments were only for a day or six working hours and not a week each.”

Amid all this, he said the management of the hospital felt the confusion over the orientation schedule was “just a façade for other grievances.”

Find here the full letter which details Dr. Dordoye’s side of the Ankaful impasse

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana