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Consider COVID and return to work – GHS appeals to striking nurses

The Ghana Health Service has appealed to striking nurses to call off their strike and return to work to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, stated that the nation was on the verge of winning the war against COVID-19 and it is unfortunate for nurses to strike at such a crucial time.

In an interview on the Morning Starr, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said I am appealing to the nurses “look at the situation with COVID and come back to work to negotiate. Let’s put the nation’s health first. Come back to work and I believe that the discussions will continue.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on the National Labour Commission (NLC) to apologise to the striking nurses and midwives over the decision to block their industrial action in court.

According to the GMA Chairman of the Ashanti region, Dr Paa Kwesi Baidoo, the move by NLC has the tendency to provoke the health workers.

“I think the labour commission should apologize to nurses for the stance they wanted to take. Going forward, they shouldn’t employ such tactics. Once you go to court in that manner you make people angry. These are people who have sacrificed so much, they have given everything.”

“They are asking that the same hospitals they are working they are given some basic care and leverage and not to continue with the situation where when they are sick they are asked to pay initial cost before they are treated.”

Background

Nurses and midwives across the country commenced strike action on Monday, September 21,2020 over poor conditions of service.

It comes after the failure of government to agree with the health workers on their demand for improved conditions of service.

A press release by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association noted “having reconvened in the meetings held on 15th and 16th September 2020 the posture of the Employer changed for the better but did not meet the expectation of the majority of Nurses, Midwives, Physician Assistants and Certified Registered Anaesthetists in Ghana.”

The statement, therefore, directed its members to stay away from work until the outstanding issues are addressed with their employer.

Meanwhile, an Accra High Court on Friday granted an interlocutory injunction application by the National Labour Commission against the strike.

The move by the court presided by Justice Frank Aboagye Rockson is to stop the health workers from their industrial action.

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