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13.10.2005 Health

Military health personnel paid less then counterparts

By GNA
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Accra, Oct 13, GNA - Health professionals at the "37" Military Hospital are paid less compared to their counterparts in other health institutions throughout the country, the Ghana Armed Forces has said. Brigadier-General Dan Twum, Director of Medical Services, Ghana Armed Forces attributed the situation to the numerous strike actions embarked on by health professionals within the public services, to the detriment of those in military service.

"The other health professionals' grievances were attended to leaving us out because we (military) cannot in any way go on strike," he said, adding that the situation has resulted in certain health professional opting to work in other facilities rather then the military hospital for better remuneration and service conditions.

Brigadier-General Twum said this during an interaction with officials from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) who were at the hospital on a working visit as part of activities marking the 12th anniversary celebrations of CHRAJ. The anniversary was being celebrated under the theme: " A Vibrant Human Rights Culture for National Development"

Brigadier-General Twum said the hospital was also being confronted with issues of exodus just as other health institutions, "but we face the dire situation of our staff leaving to serve other local health facilities." He could not tell the exact strength of the hospital, "since the exodus is now on a daily basis."

He however, admitted that the military was still negotiating with government for better conditions of service.

Brigadier-General Twum said in spite of remuneration issues, the 37 Military hospital was doing its best to give the best of care to its patients, including the running of a 24-hour polyclinic facility and emergency services for both service personnel and the public. He said children on admission at the hospital are given tuition in their wards to ensure that their academic progress were not retarded when they went back to school.

He said the facility was being used by the United Nations as its referral point for Peacekeeping Operations along the West Coast. On the issue of non-payment of bills by patients, Brigadier-General Twum said patients were never detained since that would be an extra drain on the limited resources of the hospital in terms of bed occupancy and feeding.

"Last year alone patients defaulted in the payment of bills to the tune of over a billion cedis," adding, "the best we could do was transfer such cases to the Department of Social Welfare". Madam Anna Bossman, acting Commissioner, CHRAJ who was accompanied by her deputy, Mr Richard Quayson expressed satisfaction with the general conditions at the hospital and urged the administrators to keep up the discipline at the hospital, especially with regards to cleanliness and neatness.

The CHRAJ team later visited the Link Road Hospital, a private Hospital at Laterbiokoshie, a suburb of Accra, where they also expressed satisfaction with the handling of patients.

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