The Ministry of Health (MOH) will by next week, expedite action to place and deploy nurses and healthcare assistants to the 37 Military and Police Hospitals in Accra, to ease the increased work load on the staff as a result of the ongoing strike by doctors in the public hospitals.
The move is part of assistance being given to the two security hospitals, to reduce the pressure on doctors and nurses who are overwhelmed by the high patronage of the facility, while government appeals to the doctors to resume work as negotiations on their conditions of service continues with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).
The Minister of Health, Mr. Alexander Segbefia, disclosed this when he visited the 37 Military, Police , Tema General and Korle Bu Teaching hospitals in Accra yesterday to assess the impact of the GMA strike.
The minister, who described the current strike by the doctors as disproportionate, reiterated the ministry’s preparedness to as a matter of urgency curtail all bureaucratic processes to provide the two security hospitals with beds and other resources needed to save lives, during this crucial moment.
Mr. Segbefia lauded the 37 Military Hospitals and the Police Hospital for strategically positioning themselves to offer distinct medical care to Ghanaians and called on the GMA to call off the strike.
The 37 Military Hospital was busy at the time the minister visited, facilities were over stretched since the patient load on the hospital was double the normal cases attended to, on normal basis.
The maternity ward for instance, had been extended to the corridors as some patients were being offered medical attention on mattresses laid on the floor.
Brigadier General Ralph Ametepe, Commander of the Military Hospital said the hospital had enough spaces to operate but was understaffed and also challenged with funds to feed doctors and health workers who had to work for 24 hour every day due to the GMA strike.
The situation was not different at the Emergency, Trauma and Surgical Department of the hospital as doctors were seen at post busily attending to patients in wheel chairs, seats, and as some nurses had to offer their chairs to patients for treatment.
Madam Arkorful Owusu a nurse at the hospital, said the trauma wards as at mid day yesterday, attended to 55 cases and 600 cases out of which 62 were emergency cases, last Tuesday.
The situation was a bit calm at the Police Hospital, although the wards at the hospital were fully patronised by patients.strike.
The Commissioner of Police, Seidu Mahammadu Zakariah, the Medical Director of the Police Hospital, said operations at the theater came to a halt due to lack of space at the facility.
“There were so many patients lined up at the ward that needed caesarian sessions and have queued for their turn to be operated on,” he said.
He said the hospital had acquired extra cabinets, beds and tents which would serve as makeshift wards to accommodate patients during this time.
At the Tema General Hospital, there was not even a single doctor at post, there was no medical activity as the place was empty and staff were seen fumigating and cleaning the Out Patient, Emergency and other wards of the hospital.
The hospital which used to be very busy, was quiet as a cemetery with no patient at the emergency and outpatient units, workers of the hospital were engaged in a cleanup exercise during the time of the minister’s visit.
Dr Joseph Donkor, Head of Public Unit at the Tema General Hospital, said patients were no longer seeking health care at the facility due to their understanding that doctors were on.
By Linda Aryeetey and