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Health News of Friday, 7 June 2013

Source: GNA

GHOSPA strike creates difficulties in Sunyani

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The continuous strike by the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) is disrupting the work of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) accredited community pharmacies in the Sunyani Municipality.

The concern has arisen because most of the drugs and medication provided by those pharmacies could have been served at the hospitals, so that non-available drugs can be referred to the community pharmacies in the municipality.

Mr Frank Kumi, Locum Pharmacist at Greenlight Pharmacy, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani on Thursday that the situation had compelled management of the company to employ additional hands in order to handle the increasing work load.

He said the strike by GHOSPA about two months ago continues because of a court case between the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and GHOSPA.

Labour Commission (LC) initiated the court action for an order to compel FWSC to implement the commission’s ruling for GHOSPA and also to compel them to call off the strike.

Mr Kumi said until the case is resolved at the High Court, the strike would continue.

He said instead of the average waiting time of about five minutes to receive attention, a customer could now wait for as much as 30 minutes in a queue at the pharmacy.

Some residents interviewed at the central business district of Sunyani were of the view that, the situation had created a market boom for the pharmacy shops in the municipality.

Mr Kumi said usually, the pharmacy could serve about 50 clients a day, but now they were serving 150 to 200 clients.

Mr Moses Bennett, Managing Director of Mossay Pharmacy, described the situation as abnormal and expressed the hope that normalcy will soon return.

Other NHIS accredited pharmacies including Seinti Chemist expressed worry about the undue pressure on them due to the strike by GHOSPA, and appealed to the parties to solve the problem for immediate resumption of work by the striking pharmacists.

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