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26.04.2006 Health

Dead Bodies Left In Hospital Wards

By Times

THE strike by health workers took a bizarre turn on Monday in Cape Coast when a number of dead patients were reportedly left in their beds at the Central Regional Hospital, following the refusal of mortuary attendants to remove them, hospital workers told the GNA.

A GNA team that visited the hospital at about 8 a.m. on Monday, found the main entrance to the hospital locked and relatives who were bringing in a dead body to be deposited at the hospital's mortuary, were also turned away.

Security men manning the entrances also refused to allow in patients.

At the various departments, including the laboratory, pharmacy and the outpatients unit, the staff were seen gathered in groups.

The GNA learnt that some of the doctors were in the wards attending to patients. There were also a number of expatriate doctors who said they were waiting for their leader to decide on their next line of action.

The story was no different at the Cape Coast District Hospital where patients were also turned away, but an expectant mother and other emergency cases were attended to.

The Administrator, Mr Emmanuel Gyamfi, said they were waiting for directives from the executive of the various health workers associations and that he was optimistic the issues would be resolved by the close of day.

A medical assistant at the Ewim Urban Health Centre in Cape Coast, Alhaji Ibrahim Yahaya, told the GNA that the 19 paramedical staff at the centre had also laid down their tools and that he and the other medical assistant were doing their best to attend to patients.

Meanwhile, health workers of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital failed to report for work yesterday, despite a plea from the Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (rtd).

A spokesman for the group told the Times that they were waiting for an official statement detailing how their grievances would be resolved.

"Without specific details spelling out the time frame when the issues will be solved, we can't go back," he stated.