Hospitals turn ‘ghost towns’ as health services workers union strike bites hard in Ashanti region

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An industrial action by health workers over poor working conditions is taking a toll on healthcare delivery in the Ashanti region.

Out-Patient Departments of some health facilities are empty with no one to attend to patients.

Hundreds of patients have been left stranded as the clinics and hospitals turn into ‘ghost towns’.

The usually busy Out-Patient Departments are virtually empty. There are no long winding queues, just empty spaces.

Few nurses idling around take time to speak to some patients affected by the  strike.

Many patients had no prior-information of the strike by members of the Health Services Workers Union.

One of them, Habiba Dauda brought her sick baby to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, but was shocked by what she witnessed there.

“My child had a surgery and so I came for a review today. Unfortunately, they are not around. I thought I was going to see the doctor as they have already given me a date.  But when I came and saw that nobody was around, I was shocked.”

Habiba had no option than to leave the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital disappointed.

“The place is always busy-so many chairs; you see the place busy with doctors going around, nurses working as usual, but today, the place is empty and I’m quite disappointed.”

The leadership of the Health Services Workers Union is satisfied with the high level of compliance by members.

At Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, local chairman, Douglas Kusi said there is total compliance from members two days after the strike was declared.

“Virtually, the hospital has become a ghost town.  In fact, if you come here every other day and how busy, especially where we are standing and if you look at today, then it means that it is a very pathetic situation for all of us.”

But the question you ask yourself is that, who do you blame?  Is it the Health Services Workers Union or government?  And I’m sure your guess could be as good as mine.

We had given government adequate notice. In fact, if you look at the reason why we are even on strike.  In fact, negotiations started since 2019. What has even pushed us to take this action is that we feel that we are being discriminated against”.

Meanwhile, Management of the health facilities, including KATH, have said that they have instituted measures to ensure patients with emergency needs receive care.

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