Joseph Whittal, Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has appealed to health personnel in Ghana to reconsider frequent decisions to lay down their tools.
‘These actions have serious implications for ordinary Ghanaians, who are left unattended to in the hospital wards, leading to some deaths as a result of these strikes,’ he noted.
Mr Whittal made the appeal during the graduation ceremony of the final year students of Tamale Nurses and Midwifery who took part in the Basic Course on Human Rights for Health Professionals.
The five months basic human rights training programme was to equip health professionals with necessary knowledge and understanding of human rights concepts and its bearing on their profession.
It was also to enhance their service delivery as health professionals by reducing the occurrence of human rights abuses in the health sector.
Mr Whittal said the service rendered to Ghanaians by most health professionals has always been dissatisfactory leading to complaints from some sections of the public.
He stated that the course, which was running in all 10 nursing colleges in the country was the Commission’s effort at inculcating the respect for human rights and values in the nurses who dealt directly daily with patients.
According to him, due to the constitutional directive to all public officers and other persons to respect human rights and freedoms, the Commission would engage the Nurses and Midwifery Council, the Medical and Dental Council, the Pharmaceutical Council and other professional oversight bodies of the health sector with proposal and concept papers regarding the mainstreaming of human rights course in their curricula.
Stephen Azantilow, the Northern Regional Director of CHRAJ, indicated that the human rights course for final year students in the region was launched in November last year.
The course is to help put an end to the abuses of patients’ rights, which include respecting their privacy, refusal of treatment, an explanation of the cost of medication, personal safety, access to medical records and health care regardless of background.
Mr Azantilow said Ghana has quality nurses and midwives who must promote and protect the rights and freedoms of patients, especially the vulnerable groups such as women, children as well as people living with HIV/AIDS.
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