Patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, were left to their fate as doctors and nurses ditched them to join demonstrations at the behest of Organised Labour, Thursday.
The doctors joined the demonstrations to protest against economic hardship they claim has been brought on by the John Mahama-led administration.
Patients who went to the hospital for treatment on Thursday morning met empty consulting rooms and wards in what Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah described as a saddening situation.
‘The patients are unhappy because they have been here at thehospital since morning for doctors and nurses to attend to them but unfortunately after waiting several hours without seeing them, they decided to leave’, Ohemeng Tawiah reported.
A disturbed patient who spoke to Ohemeng asked whether President John Mahama is really that helpless to salvage the deteriorating economic situation that is hitting everyone in the country.
Another patient who had come with her children was concerned about taking her sick children back home without being attended to.
One of the doctors justified his action on grounds that ‘there comes a time when people must rise and have a say in the decisions that affect them. We have to add our voice to what is happening’.
Obstetrics Gynaecologist, Dr. Ernest Kwarko, said the Ghana Medical Association, Health Workers Services Union, Ghana Registered Nurses Association and other affiliates of health workers go to the same market and feel the pinch of the harsh economic conditions.
‘There is rising cost of living, there is dwindling wages, there is escalating inflation, utility tariffs are going uputility tariffs are automated, but our salaries are static’, the doctor said.
Regional Chairman of the Health Services Workers Union, Ernest Badu-Boateng, insists provisions have been made for the general public who may need their services as the members demonstrate. But those provisions do not cover OPD patients, he explained
He however apologized to patients, asking them to bear with the health workers.
‘It’s unfortunate if some of them (patients) were not adequately informed of our actions. We will ask them to go home and come back next time’, Mr. Badu-Boateng told Nhyira News.
Meanwhile Ohemeng Tawiah reported that about one thousand workers converged at the Cultural Centre in Kumasi at 7am to express their anger at the difficult economic conditions.
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