16:27, 21.Jul 2018
There was no single nurse at post at the Accra psychiatric hospital on Monday October 31 as the nurses begun a full-blown strike to demand sufficient essential medications required for psychiatric management and treatment of patients.
The nurses stayed off the premises because most patients, according to them, continued to demonstrate aggressive behaviours towards staff and other patients, a situation they described as dangerous.
The nurses said they are putting their safety above everything else because they have continually suffered assault and injury from inmates.
Speaking to Class91.3FM on Monday October 31, spokesperson of the hospital, Philip Frimpong Okyere said they will wait outside the hospital until the inmates are provided with medication.
“The situation at the hospital as I speak to you now is very dangerous for us to move in there because the medications and other logistics that we need to manage the psychiatric patients are not there and in the absence of these medication most of the patients relapse and then many of them become aggressive almost at the same time and then the consequence of this thing is that they end up assaulting and attacking our staff resulting in varying degrees of injuries,” he stated.
“What is even prompting us to take this measure is because we have informed the authorities involved and their argument is that they are financial constraints so we will wait outside the hospital premises until such a time where they will call us and tell us the things we need are available then we will go back. There is no single nurse at post at the Accra psychiatric hospital. We don’t have gloves, we don’t have syringes so in the event that you want to give somebody injection, you have to do it with your bare hands,” Mr Okyere complained.
“If a patient becomes aggressive and we get hold of him, the next line of action is to administer the injection so that it will calm the person down so if you restrain the person and don’t have access to this medication, whatever you do is useless meaning you are always in a constant struggle with the patient”.