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General News of Monday, 17 September 2018


Physician Assistants suspend OPD, emergency services across health centers

Some patients waiting to be attended to play videoSome patients waiting to be attended to

Physician Assistants across the country have taken their 2-week long nationwide strike a notch higher by withdrawing emergency services in addition to that of the Out Patient Departments’.

A visit to some hospitals and other health institutions in the capital by confirmed that Physician Assistants failed to report to their work stations in conformity to the agreed move by the association.

Director of Health at the Adabraka Polyclinic in Accra, Dr. Selorm Botwe disclosed that her facility had resorted to contingency measures to adjust to the absence of the health officials who have laid down their tools. She noted that the measures however came with additional costs.

“…they started the first phase last week where they withdrew Out Patient Services. They’ve moved on to the second stage of the roadmap and they are now withdrawing emergency services.

For us, as happens with every strike we put in contingency measures because we know that as much as all of us need to press for our demands, we also have to look out for the public so we do not close the facility down because of a strike.

Our clinics are still running 24 hours. It does come at a higher cost for us because it means we have to bring in additional people but the most important thing is that the clinic is still running.”

Dr. Selorm however prayed the government to be more proactive in order to swiftly resolve the issues of the health professionals.

At Achimota Hospital where they are missing the services of as many as fourteen (14) Physician Assistants and Interns, Philip Afeti Korto who is the Administrator bemoaned that his outfit had resorted to employing locum doctors to cater for the facility.

Explaining the resolve to Mr. Afeti Korto disclosed that the hospital had recovered from an initial shock as the sudden strike by the Physician Assistants overwhelmed the facility with several patient numbers.

The Physician Assistants in a communiqué said they had to lay down their tools because government, represented by the Ministry of Health and its implementing agencies such as the Ghana Health Service and National Health Insurance Authority, has not shown any commitment to resolving their numerous problems.

The concerns they want government addressed include: Salary discrepancies among cadres of the same professional, obsolete job description, career progression/advancement/specialisation for physician assistants, condition of service and appointments of physician assistants as heads of health centres and sub-districts.

The others are; accreditation status of College of Health, Kintampo; internship allowances, financial clearance for both public and privately-trained Physician Assistants.

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