Health workers in various hospitals in Accra are beginning to feel the pressure of providing care to the increasing number of patients, as some junior nurses and midwives begin their indefinite strike today, February 3, 2016 over unpaid salaries.
According to the Coalition of Unpaid Nurses and Midwives, numbering around 7000, in spite of ''round table discussions, promises and reassurances'' by the Ministry of Employment and Labour relations to have all of them paid by December 2015, only 30 percent of its members have been paid so far.
The development is taking a huge toll on health workers at various hospitals in Accra.
When Pulse.com.gh visited the Ridge Hospital in Accra few of the senior nurses at the Theatre recovery ward were busily putting in efforts to control the situation.
One of the senior nurses who spoke to Pulse.com.gh on basis of anonymity said even though they are beginning to feel the effects of the strike action, they are managing with the situation.
She wondered why government is yet to respond to the demands of the aggrieved nurses.
"We the seniors, we are also on it. We were promoted and up until now, we have not been put on a scale, but we are working. So we are pleading with government, they should do something about it."
The striking nurses at the hospital, numbering over 100, account for about 70 percent of the workforce at the hospital, as they do the greater part of work.
Their daily work routine include the personal care and hygiene of the patients.
One of the aggrieved nurses at the Ridge Hospital, Dorcas Essel told Pulse.com.gh, that even though she fears for the patients as the senior staff alone cannot take care of all of them, she has no choice than to strike.
She believes that is the only language that will push government to respond to their demands.
"It is not that we don't care for our patients. We do care but the thing is, as we are caring for our patients, what about us. Do the government also care about us?", Dorcas asked.
However, at the Adabraka polyclinic, health workers were yet to feel the impact of the strike by junior nurses.
A senior nurse, who preferred to remain anonymous told Pulse.com.gh, that they are yet to receive official communication from the aggrieved nurses about their strike action.
The aggrieved nurses, numbering over 30, she said, forms majority of the workforce at the health facility.
She believed government should respond quickly to their demands to avert any serious challenge at the facility.
"As at now, everything is okay...It is a big challenge. When a nurse is hungry and there is no money, how do you expect them to give off their best. It is a big challenge. Something must be done. Some of them, we give them money for transport. It is not good," she said.
She added that if the matter is not solved quickly, patients are really going to suffer as the senior nurses will not be able to do all the work.