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Nurses Begin Nationwide Strike

The Ghana Registered Nurses & Midwives Association (GRNMA) yesterday began the second phase of the roadmap towards their planned industrial action by withdrawing out-patients services (OPD) at the various public health facilities nationwide.

The action follows the wearing of red bands by the health officers last week to signal their resolve to see their demands met by authorities or withdraw all services by November 14, 2016.

The nurses, yesterday morning, although at post refused to offer services to patients at the OPD.

The Adabraka Polyclinic, La General Hospital, Ridge Regional Hospital, were some of the health facilities that turned away patients who went there for healthcare.

The Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital in Accra was also affected by the strike, leaving parents who had taken their children to the health facility for care stranded.

Douglas Adu-Fokou, GRNMA Greater Accra Region, Public Relations Officer, said the nurses had withdrawn all OPD services, including family planning and child health services.

He said the association has been engaging the health authorities, however, as at noon yesterday, “our resolution had not been addressed yet. For instance, on the issue of nurses at the psychiatric hospitals, the association’s demand of logistics that would see the place running again has not been fully met.”

“The cash and medicines the Ministry of Health presented could only last the health facility a few weeks,” Mr Adu-Fokou added.

He further stated that other issues like the fees charged for promotional interview and intention for studies have been discussed by the authorities in charge, but the association has so far not seen their implementation.

“They said letters have been circulated to various institutions to stop charging promotion interview fees but we don’t see their implementation. So, for now, we are going by our roadmap and if nothing is heard by Sunday 13th we will withdraw all our services on November 14, 2016,” he indicated.

Kwaku Asante-Krobea, President of GRNMA, two weeks ago while addressing a press conference on the issues affecting the nurses, lamented the manner in which concerns raised by nurses are dealt with in the country.

Listing a few of the challenges that the nursing profession face during the said meeting, the GRNMA president said government has failed to solve pertinent issues of unpaid salary arrears, posting of graduate nurses and midwives, charging of promotional fees, sale of upgrading forms, inadequate logistics to government health facilities and allowances of student nurses and midwives, among others.

However, the association is yet to see any tangible solutions to their demands after weeks of waiting for government to address their issues.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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