Sixteen Cuban doctors engaged by the government as a stop-gap measure to contain the effect of the doctors’ strike are to be posted to health facilities today.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Health, Mr Toni Goodman, made this known to the Daily Graphic after the paper had visited selected health facilities to assess the impact of the doctors’ strike.
On August 17, the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, announced that 16 Cuban doctors who had completed their term and were due to return to their country were to be retained in order to reduce the pressure in quasi-government hospitals.
Public health doctors have been on strike since July 29, 2015 to back their demand for coded conditions of service from the government.
During yesterday’s visit to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), the Adabraka Polyclinic and the Ridge Hospital, all in Accra, the usual scenes of hospital staff who busily attended to scores of patients at the various departments were absent.
The benches of the outpatient departments (OPDs) of the three hospitals were empty.
The Accident, Maternity, Surgical and Medical departments of the KBTH had all been deserted when the Daily Graphic visited the hospital.
Nurses were seen sitting at the front desks with no patients to attend to.
The Outpatients Department of the Adabraka Polyclinic was equally deserted, while some nurses at the front desks sat on the benches that would normally have been occupied by patients.
The Ridge OPD was no different, apart from two patients, a young boy and an elderly woman, who were seen being put into taxis to seek medical attention elsewhere, as there were no doctors to take care of them.
The KBTH Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Mustapha Salifu, told the Daily Graphic that nothing had changed since the doctors started the industrial action.
Following the strike, no new patients were being admitted. However, the doctors reported for work to attend to their in-patients, he said.