37 Military Hospital Doctors Happy GMA Strike Is Over
Doctors at the 37 Military Hospital have welcomed the suspension of the Ghana Medical Association's (GMA) strike action which had resulted in the over utilisation of the Military Hospital's facilities and infrastructure.
For 19 days when doctors in public health facilities across the country withdrew their services, there was an influx of patients to the 37 and Police Hospitals, particularly so as major public hospitals in Accra such as the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Ridge Hospital declined to admit fresh patients.
The GMA called off its strike Wednesday, attributing the decision to what it said, were persistent appeals from various organisations and the citizenry to them to return to work in the interest of upholding their hippocratic oath that enjoins them to be live savers.
A team of journalists who were conducted round the various units of the 37 Military Hospital in Accra today, were told that during the strike action, the number of patients the hospital received doubled, in some cases the number quadrupled.
The journalists were conducted round the Maternity Ward, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where pre-mature babies were being incubated, the Paediatric Centre, the Trauma Surgical/Emergency Unit and the Blood Bank.
Lt. Col. Yaw Mensah, Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Armed Offices, who conducted the news team around, said the facility had been over-stretched over the period, even though they were able to contain the situation.
At the Maternity ward, a Principal Nursing Officer, Mrs Cecelia Konadu, said the number of pregnant women during the period outstripped the beds available, compelling those who could not get beds to sleep on matresses on the floor..
The ward, she said contained 52 beds but patients who reported to the place exceeded 100.
The Matron at the 37 Military Hospital, Colonel Mercy Yelbert, heaved a sigh of relief on hearing that the GMA strike was over. She believes the hospital would begin to operate at normal capacity.
Meanwhile, doctors at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) and the Ridge Hospital have officially resumed work though patient turn out today had been low
During a visit to the two hospitals by the Daily Graphic, following the doctors return to work, the Out-Patients Departments (OPDs) were found to be virtually empty, an indication that the general public were either not aware or not convinced that the strike had indeed been called off.
The Public Relations Officer of the KBTH, Mr Mustapha Salifu, corroborated that doctors in the various departments were at post and were receiving referral cases from other health institutions.
On the poor patient turn-out, he explained that since the strike was called off only yesterday, the general public were perhaps putting up 'a wait and see attitude' and expressed optimism that normal patients attendance would resume from next week.
At the time of the Daily Graphic’s visit, patients had queued up at the Neuro Surgical Unit to be attended to.
The situation at the Ridge Hospital was not different as patients with emergency cases were being attended to but a nurse who pleaded anonymity, told the Daily Graphic that the hospital had not recorded a significant number of new patients for the day.
She was also convinced that the number of patients would peak up from next week as news of the doctors' resumption of work was yet to get to all members of the public, particularly those residing in the regions.