No One Needs To Die Over Unpaid Arrears or Condition of Service
“3 die at Korle-bu Teaching Hospital”, as reported by myjoyonline.com, others may die in various hospitals in other parts of the country; very unfortunate for mother Ghana”
Undeniably, strikes are incontestable rights of workers and employers; a situation which has been recurring since independence and undesirably within the health sector as well. However, “it is the farm that suffers most when two elephants combat”; a clear scenario in our hospitals at this time.
Most strike actions in the health sector since antiquity are mainly on economic grounds; actions of withdrawal of labour in support of bargaining demands, including pay increase with the current situation grounding on condition of service of the GMA and unpaid salary arrears of Nurses of the Accra psychiatric Hospital.
There is an issue of poor condition of service for health workers and it is very frustrating to work all out without payment of salaries. There are no suitably structured system to take care of risk, research, accommodation, fuel and other allowances and even salaries due our fellow nurses are still in arrears.
Without any iota of doubt, health workers need continual training and research to ensure that they render the best of service to the patient. This brings to bare the need to set forth a well-structured condition and terms of employment for health workers in the public health sector as a nation. This shall not only ensure job safety but also shall provide clear career path, among others.
NAHSAG cannot also fail to appreciate the fact that there are numerous economic barriers, threats and constraint vis-à-vis the proposal put forward by the GMA.
We share in the fear of the government on the possible consequences which may arise when the proposal is accepted; with Nurses, Biomedical Scientists, Pharmacists, and other Allied Health Professionals subsequently making equal demands. But the fact remains that, not only doctors, but also all Health Professionals require an astute condition of service and prompt system to ensure that salaries are duly paid on time.
It is on this note we beseech government and all stakeholders not to see this as defy to tear the nation apart but as an opportunity to establish stout systems to ensure that the health sector is duly protected. We humbly add our voices as prospective health professionals to plead with the GMA and the Nurses of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital to call off or suspend the ongoing strike actions to prevent further deaths in the hospitals.
We know that mistrust is a major contributory factor to the ongoing strike actions usually as a result of government saying one thing and doing the other. Let us see this as an opportunity to rebuild trust in the system. The degree and level of commitment of Government to promises made should not be taken for granted.
We encourage that, this is demonstrated in the form of proactive consultation, open and honest communication, and honouring of promises.
We finally beseech both government and political party communicators to be very circumspect as to how this issue is remarked to prevent infliction of passions and the subsequent escalation of the issue.
Ghana will not die, Ghana will continue to live and it requires a collective responsibility to ensure this.
We entreat government, the Leadership of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital and that of the leadership of GMA to ensure that the current situations are resolved with all due diligence and in the collective interest of mother Ghana.
Long live NAHSAG, Long live our health Systems, Long Live Mother Ghana
BMS Amoakohene Frank
NAHSAG-Public and Media Relations Officer