The Mental Health Authority has asked striking nurses and physician assistants at the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital to return to work.
According to the Authority, the hospital’s Director, Dr. Eugene Dordoye, has been enrolled in some refresher courses to improve his interpersonal skills.The staff said Dr. Dordoye’s presence at the facility posed a danger to their mental and physical health.
Among other things, they accused him of putting them through emotional and psychological stress.
On Thursday, they declared a strike, asking the Mental Health Authority and the Ministry of Health to transfer Mr. Dordoye.
The Mental Health Authority has refused to meet their demands, and has rather asked the striking health professionals to return to work, arguing that they can raise their concerns if the director persists with the alleged inappropriate conduct after his refresher course.
The Head of Communications at the Mental Health Authority, Kwaku Brobbey, told Citi News that it is working to address the impasse.
“What we have decided to do was to get the Director of the Hospital to go into some programs that will help him improve his personal relations at the facility. I think as an Authority, we need to approach this with caution and that decision that we have taken is something that will be of interest to the staff of the hospital. If he comes back from this training and this thing continues then, of course, we have reasons to ask him to perhaps step aside,” he said.
“It should take him some three to four months to go through these courses we have arranged. We are trying to solve a situation and it is not for us to carry out the wish of any person just because the person feels that they cannot work with someone else. They should reconsider their position and let’s give an opportunity to the strategy we have outlined and see what can come out of it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the health practitioners have vowed not to return to work until their request is granted.
‘Medical Director will not be removed’
The striking health professionals embarked on an industrial action in 2017 over the same matter, but the government said removing the director will set a bad precedent.
“I don’t think if we go on that tangent, it will help anybody because it may set a precedent which will not help this nation at all. If staff get up and start agitating that they want a director [sacked] and a Minister goes by that decision and takes him away, it is going to set a precedent for others to follow suit,” the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health, Robert Cudjoe said in an interview.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana