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Psychiatric nurses strike How patients are affected

A look around the hospital when Pulse.com.gh visited showed that many of the patients were trying to take care of themselves since their caretakers were nowhere to be found.

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The fate of patients at the hospital is currently being endangered as nurses begin their indefinite strike today over unpaid salaries.

The strike follows what the nurses describe as deceit and failure on the part of government to fulfill promises to pay them.

The nurses declared a sit down strike on August 3 to demand that their employers pay them all their salaries which had been in arrears for 10 months. 

The Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu moved in to assure the nurses that their salaries will be paid in two months.

But speaking to Pulse.com.gh, one of the leaders, Frederick Asare Donkor said they will only go back to work if their needs are addressed.

play Frederick Asare Donkor

 

"We are entitled to a salary at the end of work. Most of our colleagues are being chased by banks for loans they owe. We always appear stingy amongst our friends, he added.

Impact on patients

The striking nurses, numbering 190, 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, Febiri Emmanuel told Pulse.com.gh that, he fears for the patients because the senior nurses currently taking care of them cannot do all the work.

On a daily basis, the striking nurses bath the patients, shave their armpits and pubic hairs, trim their nails, feed them, and give them their medication, activities senior nurses hardly perform.

A look around the hospital when Pulse.com.gh visited showed that many of the patients were trying to take care of themselves since their caretakers were nowhere to be found.

play Patients at the hospital

 

The absence of these nurses, deputy director of nursing services at the hospital, Emmanuel Pappoe believes, will bring undue pressure on the senior staff   he quickly had to organise to save the situation.

His worst fear was what will become of patients at night, as many of the senior nurses are nursing mothers and work only in the mornings.

Already, Mr. Paapoe said, some of the senior staff members have begun complaining about the pressure they are under as they are few in number.

"This morning, I had to go to some of the wards myself. Some patients were struggling over food, and as I was trying to separate them, I got my own share. I was bitten on the arm. No risk allowance. You see the problem. So this hospital we are suffering", he added.

  play Mr. Pappoe's swollen arm

 

He said if the matter is not solved by Friday, patients are really going to suffer as the senior nurses will not be around to take care of them.

Patients at the Out-patient departments are however yet to feel the effects of the strike.

play Patients at OPD

 

This is because they were being attended to by senior nurses and other junior staff nurses who were having their attachment at the hospital

It is still early days yet, but if the matter is not resolved as early as possible, things will only get worse at the facility.

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