Medical staff of the West Gonja District Hospital in Damongo in the Northern Region have withdrawn their services in protest of alleged assault on some staff and the stealing of their motorbikes.
Patients and persons who showed up at the facility to access healthcare services Tuesday morning were left stranded by the action by the staff, who have agreed to suspend it at exactly 6:00pm Tuesday.
According to the Ghana Registered Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association in the district, there have been cases of assault on some staff of the Hospital which were reported to the Police and other stakeholders but no “effective and lasting solutions found” in those cases.
“We believe due to the nature by which these issues were dealt with ineffectively in the past and currently, the assault and threats on nurses and midwives have become a regular affair in West Gonja District,” it said in a statement issued Monday.
A nurse of the Hospital whose motorbike was stolen on August 9, was assaulted together with his friends by the alleged thieves after they were granted bail by the Police.
Another nurse, who was on a night duty, also had his motorbike stolen on August 13 at the Hospital premises after he had been threatened by some alleged thieves who were said to have broken a part of the Hospital fence.
These developments, the Association said, prompted the medical staff at the Hospital to suspend provision of healthcare delivery on Tuesday morning until their demands were met by stakeholders.
The staff were demanding the re-arrest of the suspects involved in the cases, retrieval of two motorbikes so far stolen from staff as well as pragmatic steps to ensure the safety of the staff and their property.
Speaking to 3News on the issues, the District Public Relations Officer of the GRNMA, Justice Parmak said they have reconsidered their decision and would resume work 6:00pm Tuesday.
“We are not working now but we will be suspending the strike today at 6:00pm. We made some demands and about 80 per of them have been met,” Mr Parmak told 3News.
He said the three suspects involved have been arrested and one of the two motorbikes stolen have been retrieved while the West Gonja District Assembly has also taken up the issue regarding the other motorbike.
On the issue of their safety, he said the Assembly has assured them of that but they have requested for a written document detailing how it is going to do that.
He said these decisions were taken at a stakeholders meeting, adding “They are the stakeholders and we can’t undermine them”.
By Stephen Kwebena Effah|3news.com|Ghana