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Nurses and midwives in the Upper West Region have abandoned out-patient services at public health facilities in the region to enforce a strike by the regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association from Monday.

Nursing and midwifery staff in public health facilities in the region are attending to only inpatient cases on the first day of an indefinite strike action declared by their regional executive last Saturday.

Auxiliary nurses – mainly from the records department – and interns having their clinicals at the Regional Hospital in Wa, were the ones attending to outpatient cases when the Daily Graphic visited the facilities in the morning.

Indeed, even maternal cases at the out-patients department (OPD) were not being considered by the striking nurses who were demanding, among other things, an immediate stop to deductions being made from their salaries for a compulsory subscription of the Mutual Health Insurance Scheme

General conditions

They are also demanding that their members, who had upgraded themselves, be promoted to conform to general conditions of their counterparts in other parts of the country, and be supplied with basic logistics for their work in the health facilities.

At the Regional Hospital, the space was being filled by interns who were working under the instructions of senior health officers to manage the situation.

Only inpatient cases that were admitted before last Monday, maternal cases and emergencies were to be attended to by the nurses and midwives.

According to the group, even antenatal cases were not to be taken care of.

At the Bamahu Clinic, nursing staff were attending to outpatients all through the morning.

According to Mr Adams Rafiq, the officer in charge of the facility, they were unaware of the declaration of the strike action at the time of the visit by the Daily Graphic.

The situation was similar to the Konta North Clinic where regional executives of the GRNMA visited later in the morning to inform the workers of the declaration of the strike action.

Lack of facilities

The clinic actually lacks facilities for inpatients, and that affects the services nurses and midwives offer to healthcare seekers.

Before then, the staff were attending to outpatient cases, most of which were maternal related, but once the news got to the nurses and midwives, even the interns on clinicals were given the day off.

Indeed, nurses and midwives were generally absent at the Regional Hospital except for those on duty at the inpatient department.

The Secretary of the Wa Municipal branch of the association, Mr Mohammed Shaibu, said they were going round the health centres to inform their members of the action to ensure full compliance of the directive issued last Saturday to demand “improved conditions for our members.”

He explained that the facilities would remain open, and their members would be at work even though they would only perform limited s

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