Nurses and other allied health workers at the West Gonja Hospital in Damongo in the Savannah Region have on Monday morning embarked on a sit down strike.
This is because the management of the hospital has refused to pay a 10 per cent allowance on the basic salaries of the staff, which the management agreed to pay them, starting from January this year.
The health workers who are members of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) at the hospital have however assured that they would continue to attend to maternal and child health cases as well as emergencies.
Patients who went to the hospital this morning, July 1, 2019, to access healthcare could not do so as a result of the strike action and they had to seek for medical attention elsewhere.
“For now we are only attending to in-patients that is those who are already on admission at the various wards and emergency cases”, the branch chairman of the GRNMA at the hospital, Abdul-Karim Issah told Graphic Online.
The leadership of the two health workers unions said they have given the management of the hospital 48 hours ultimatum to address their concerns and that failure by management to heed to their grievances would lead to a full blown strike action in which all services would be withdrawn entirely.
A letter sighted by Graphic Online signed by chairmen of the GRNMA and HSWU, Abdul-Karim Issah and Emmanuel Kichana respectively and copied to the Catholic Bishop of Damongo; the Savannah Regional Minister; the District Chief Executive (DCE) for West Gonja among others, said they saw the strike action as the last resort for management to fulfill their side of the negotiations.
Other concerns raised by the health workers of the hospital included denial of study leave and promotion of staff by the management of the hospital.
They also called for the immediate removal of the Administrator and the Matron of the hospital since according to them; they are the major cause of the problems in the hospital.
When contacted, the West Gonja Hospital chairman of the GRNMA, Mr Issah confirmed the strike action and said all their demands were contained in their collective bargaining agreement negotiated with management.
The Administrator of the hospital, Mr. Remy Nyewie when reached confirmed the strike action, and said all the concerns as regards to promotions and study leave have been resolved except the 10 per cent basic allowance.
He, however, said management was in the process of addressing the 10 per cent allowance.