– By Constansia Edem Azigi
Staff of Pantang Psychiatric Hospital in Accra, have called off their two-days strike, which begun last Monday to protest over the encroachment of the hospital’s land.
The strike was followed with a day’s strike on Wednesday, but the agitation was brought to an end, when the Minister for Health, Kweku Agyeman Manu intervened.
The staff, said the land which was supposed to be the hospital’s property, has been sold to a private developer.
According to the nurse, doctors and other staff, the Hospital have serious challenges which need to be addressed by management, but it is their land which is being encroached upon by private developers, hence the sit down strike and the demonstration on Wednesday
The representative for Nursing and Midwifery Association at the hospital, Winifred Peasah, said “We have a whole lot of issues at Pantang here, interms of infrastructure, logistic, machines, utility gloves, protective cloths and many others.
These issues, have to be solved very fast for us so that we can get our land back. To show how serious we are, the staff decided to release a press statement for the government to know what is going on here.
On Friday July 7, 2017, the staff of the hospital decided to release a press statement that, “we needed the government to act on so that at least the frontage of the hospital shouldn’t be developed by the private developers”.
Winifred Peasah continued “If you go to most hospitals, their frontages are developed by them which make them the owners and also advertise the hospital for them.
Whenever you go to any hospital, the frontage is vacant. It makes a way of advertising for people to see the hospital but is different in our case”.
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, who arrived at the Hospital after the demonstration met with the hospital staffs to deliberate on the issue, after meeting with the private developer who claimed ownership of the land with his documents.
“Luckily, we met with the person who claims to own the land with his documentation and a code judgment and his claiming that, he is the rightful owner of the land and he cannot abandon his own property for the sake of the hospital.
Luckily after engaging with him, he seems to accept my proposal that he is going to hold on with developments temporarily, until we engage properly later after”.
Thought the Minister intervened, the issue is yet to be properly resolved he was able to convince the staff to end the strike and demonstration and go back to their duties. He assured their needs will be tackled.
“The condition is that, they will give us a little time to see how best we can tackle the matter. So from here, what I plan doing is to engage my colleague ministers in land and natural resources and the minister of local government to see how we can bring this matter to halt.
The whole point is that, government is interested in that area and we will try to do our best to make sure government acquires the property”.