Management of the hospital have discharged 300 patients to ease the burden of the few health assistants who are currently taking the place of the psychiatric nurses to tend to the needs of the patients. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, Dr Akwesi Osei, as part of the measures, management has collapsed to about 10 the 23 wards which house some 430 patients of the facility.
“There are 23 wards [but] we’ve managed to collapse them to about 10 wards so that the few health assistants who are on duty can take care of them. And then too, we’ve discharged as many of the patients as we can. There are 430 patients on the wards. We’ve discharged about 300 so that the few who are left, we can take care of them,” he said.
Nurses at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital on Monday began an indefinite strike over what they describe as a dangerous working environment at the facility. According to the nurses, the strike has been necessitated due to the numerous physical assaults by patients as a result of the shortage of the essential medications required for psychiatric management.
The nurses are also pushing for an insurance policy or risk allowance to cover the bills of staff who sustain injuries in the line of duty.