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Regional News of Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Source: GNA

Psychiatrist nurses threaten to lay down tools over salary arrears

Nurses at the Accra Psychiatrist Hospital have given management a one week ultimatum to pay them their nine months salary arrears, or risk a strike action.

“We are giving our Management one week ultimatum to pay us our nine months arrears, or we will lay down our tools,” the nurses told the GNA in an interview on Monday.

The staff nurses said they had not been paid since they started working on September 2, 2013, and claimed there was the rumour that government would pay them only three months instead of the nine months arrears.

The nurses said they were still at work because of the assurance by management to help address their plight.

“We are still keeping our fingers crossed to see whether the assurances given us will materialize,” they added

Dr. Akwasi Osei, Chief Psychiatrist of the Hospital, said there had not been any formal communication from government concerning the issues raised by the nurses, and appealed to government to put the necessary measures in place to prevent any strike action.

“If they decide to go home or we release them now, this hospital will collapse, as we will be compelled to shut down,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Osei said management has been able to purchase some essential injectables to help cater for the inmates for the next one month.

He said following the Ghc150,000 the Mental Health Authority recently gave to Management of the hospital to address their immediate challenges, the Ministry of Health (MOH) had also put in procurements for medicine and also money for the upkeep of the inmates.

“Apart from these two institutions, Breast Care International, an NGO in Kumasi, has also provided Accra Psychiatrist Hospital with medications to cater for its inmates,” Dr. Osei said.

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