Patients left stranded following nationwide strike by nurses

The strike declared by the Ghana Registered Nursing and Midwives Association of Ghana has left patients stranded nationwide.

The strike was in full force at the East Gonja District Hospital in the Savannah Region when Citi News visited the hospital on Monday.

There was no nurse at the hospital’s Out-Patients Department.

Some leaders of the association at the hospital were seen chasing nurses who were at the female and maternity wards away.

Patients who spoke to Citi News appealed to the government to intervene and ensure the nurses return work.

“I came here with a pregnant woman but there are no nurses here to take care of her. I have been sitting here for almost two hours and I don’t know what to do. She is complaining of stomach pains but the nurses say they are on strike, so they are not attending to us”, one stranded family member said.

Meanwhile, some patients are calling on the government to grant the nurses their requests, so they return to work to administer health care to them.

“Now that the nurses have withdrawn their services, we are lying here alone. So we are calling on the government to help the nurses so that they come back to help us because some of us are in critical condition.”

One other patient who spoke to Citi News narrated how she had to buy nearly every drug including paracetamol.

Checks by Citi News, at the various hospitals in the Tamale metropolis, indicated that the strike is in progress.

At the Tamale Teaching Hospital’s Polyclinic, there were no nurses available.

The few who were seen at the facility were packing their items to a safe place.

Some patients who came to seek medical attention were left disappointed.

Some patients who spoke to Citi News appealed to the government to address the grievances of the striking nurses, so they can come back and save lives.

At the Yendi Hospital, patients and relatives are appealing to the government to immediately listen to the grievances of the nurses for them to return post.

When Citi News visited the hospital there was no nurse at the facility.

Relatives are worried about the conditions of their patients.

“The strike by the nurses is seriously affecting us. Our patients are in serious condition and need health. No nurse to attend to them. We are making a passionate appeal to the government to listen to the nurses and resolve their issues. We are the people bearing the brand of the strike. The government must immediately listen to them”, one said.

Meanwhile, management of the hospital is yet to make a decision as to what to do to keep the facility running.

Several persons who reported at the Ridge Hospital for medical care were also left stranded a result of the ongoing strike.

When Citi News visited the Ridge hospital, few nurses and midwives were spotted at the hospital.

Those who spoke to the news team expresses their frustration lamenting the impact of the withdrawal of the healthcare services.

The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) comprising all public sector nurses, midwives, Physician Assistants (PAs) and Anaesthetists (CRAs) will from today, Monday, September 21, 2020, withdraw services to demand improved conditions of service.

Although the National Labour Commission (NLC) has secured an interim injunction to restrain members of the Association from laying down their tools, the nurses say their strike is in full force.

Meanwhile, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has asked the nurses to back down on its intended strike and return to the negotiation table to have its grievances resolved.

According to the Commission, the government has shown enough commitment to have the concerns of the health staff resolved, hence the labour action is in serious breach of the rules of engagement between the two sides.

In a letter from the FWSC detailing the extent of deliberations between the government and the nurses, the Commission said the strike by the GRNMA is illegal because both parties have in principle agreed to six out of the eight outstanding proposals as presented by the Association with a four-week time frame for further action following their last meeting on September 16, 2020.

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