Nurses of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital in the Central Region have threatened to declare a strike and release all patients on admission if government retains the facility’s medical director, Dr Eugene Dordoye.
According to the nurses, the gross disrespect shown by Dr. Dordoye to staff and mismanagement of the hospital is causing them ‘psychological and emotional’ distress.Speaking to the media on Thursday, the leader of the Psychiatric Nurses Group, Daniel Danso Sarpong, called for his removal within a week, threatening that the nurses would lay down their tools and let the patients loose if this does not happen.
“We are emotionally and psychologically breaking down and we do not have peace of mind to care for our patients. We need peace and sound mind to care for our patients. The Accra people have a saying that ‘when the frog comes out of the water and says the crocodile is dead, you don’t challenge him’. In the same vein, when the psychiatric health workers who provide care to the mentally challenged say they are psychologically and emotionally breaking down, don’t condemn them, take them seriously,” he said.
Daniel Sarpong also claimed that despite an investigation by the Mental Health Authority into their allegations, a report was yet to be presented, despite several assurances.
“The fact-finding committee sent by the Mental Health Authority commenced their investigations on the 24th of October and ended on 26th October. They assured us that the findings of the investigations would be made available within one week but as we speak today we have not heard anything from the Mental Health Authority. The Psychiatric Nurses group is informing the whole world, the Minister of Health and the Mental Health Authority that we cannot continue to be subjected to this kind of mental torture at the workplace,” he added.
“A week’s ultimatum effective today [Thursday], is hereby duly served on the various stakeholders to hear the voices of the nurses and act accordingly, otherwise we’ll advise ourselves by abandoning the wards and the OPD. We shall not take care of the patients and we’ll open the wards for the patients to go out. We maintain our stance that we cannot work with Eugene Dordoye.”
The hospital had earlier in August, threatened to discharge over one hundred patients, due to thelack of funds to run the facility.
According to the acting Clinical Coordinator of the facility, Dr. Emefa Dzide, the hospital is currently indebted to various food suppliers to the tune of over three million cedis.
She said, “first of all, feeding the patients is becoming a very great burden to us. Even recently, we had to scramble together to look for money to buy meals for the patients because we are not getting the funds from government as we need to. They promised us from the beginning of the year until now.”