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Public hospitals deserted as doctors remain on strike

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Two public hospitals in Accra remain empty as doctors and pharmacists continue their strike.

A visit to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Ridge Hospital revealed that the usual busy atmosphere at the out-patients departments (OPDs) of the two facilities was absent.

At Korle-Bu, although nurses were at post, there were only a few out-patients there.

Some patients who spoke to the Daily Graphic said they had gone to the hospital hoping that the doctors had returned to work but, to their disappointment, the doctors were still on strike.

A patient, Madam Elizabeth Adjei, said she had come all the way from Kasoa but she was directed to go to either the Police Hospital or the 37 Military Hospital for treatment.

At the Ridge Hospital, the situation was the same.
The OPD at the hospital was empty, while some nurses were chatting.

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At the Emergency Ward of the hospital, some doctors were spotted attending to cases, but they declined to talk to the press.

Some of them, however, explained that they still took care of emergency cases, while all other patients were directed to the private hospitals or the 37 Military Hospital for treatment.

At the Police Hospital, many patients were seen at the OPD, waiting to be attended to.

A hospital official who spoke on grounds of anonymity said the hospital had been operating morning, afternoon and evening shifts.

He said attendance at the hospital had increased from between 50 60 patients daily to 200 daily.

From Koforidua, Nana Konadu Agyeman reports that majority of patients in the New Juaben municipality are seeking medical care at the St Joseph’s and the SDA hospitals, the two main private hospitals in the area.

A visit to the two facilities indicated that the number of out-patients had increased significantly, according to some nurses who wanted to remain anonymous.

However, out-patient turnout at the main public hospital, the Eastern Regional Hospital, had reduced significantly, as there were no doctors at post to attend to patients.

A visit to the Eastern Regional Hospital showed that there were few patients at the OPD who were being attended to by medical assistants and nurses.

The pharmacy outlet had also been closed, as there were no pharmacists to give out medicines.

Story: Mary Mensah & Nana Konadu Agyeman