Sack our director in a week or risk withdrawal of services – Psychiatric nurses

Striking nurses File photo

Nurses of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital in the Central Region have threatened to withdraw their services and release all psychiatric patients on admission if the Ministry of Health fails to remove the Hospital’s medical director, Dr Eugene Dordoye, within a week.

They have accused the medical director, who they say they cannot work with anymore, of mismanagement and gross disrespect to staff, our correspondent Kwame Kakraba reported.

Addressing a news conference Wednesday, leader of the Psychiatric Nurses Group, Daniel Danso Sarpong, stated “We shall not take care of patients. We shall open the wards for the patients to go out. We still maintain our stand that we cannot work with Dr Eugene Dordoye”.

The nurses claimed their fundamental human rights are being trampled upon by the medical director every single day by the medical director who continuously disrespects nurses in the presences of patients and their relatives as well as student nurses.

Dr. Dordoye, according to Mr. Sarpong, “doesn’t treat staff with even the minimal level of dignity as though we are from a different planet”, our correspondent reported.

He said due to the level of disrespect shown staff nurses by the medical director, some patients have also on countless occasions “disrespected nurses and told them that ‘your director said you don’t know anything”.

“All is not well here in Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital,” he said, adding “we do not want to work with our hospital director anymore”.

He said though it is not their desire to strike, “If it becomes the only tool through which the staff of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital can employ after exhausting all avenues in search of a solution to the myriad of problems engulfing us, we shall execute it without fear or favour”

The staff nurses said several attempts were made at multiple fronts to have the issue addressed but the “director shot them down”.

They said following a petition on their issue to the Health Minister on October 20, 2017, the Mental Health Authority set up a fact finding committee to investigate the allegations leveled against the director in the petition.

The Committee, they said, commence work on October 24 and ended on October 26. Though they claimed the Committee assured them the findings would be made available within a week “but as we speak today; 8th November 2017, we have not heard anything from Mental Health Authority”.

Beyond the petition, they said the Authority has received several anonymous letters seeking the removal of the medical director.

Emotional, psychological breakdown

“It is sad to note that the nurses of the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital who take care of people with mental and psychological problems do not have sound mind to work. We are emotionally and psychologically broken down and we do not have peace of mind to care for our patients,” Mr. Sarpong said.

“We shall not continue to subject ourselves to this kind of mental torture at the work place. A week ultimatum, effective today… is hereby duly served to various stakeholders to hear the voices of the nurses and act accordingly if not we will advise ourselves by abandoning the wards and the OP,” they threatened.