General News of Monday, 10 July 2017
Staff of the Pantang Psychiatric Hospital will commence a sit-down strike from today [Monday] following the failure by the government to take action against private developers encroaching on the hospital’s land.
The staff had earlier served notice of their intended strike and insist that they will lay down tools and hit the streets if the situation isn’t addressed by Wednesday.
The head of the staff at the hospital, Elvis Akuamoah told Citi News that no intent to deal with the situation has been shown by the authorities hence their decision to proceed with their strike
“Today we are starting our sit-down strike and if by Wednesday we don’t hear anything from the appropriate authorities, we are embarking on a demonstration after which we stay out of work until further notice, until this issue is resolved.”
He reiterated his fear that the activities of the encroachers would compromise security at the hospital and put the lives of the health practitioners and patients at risk.
“If not checked, we’ll have a situation where someone will build a clubhouse just opposite a ward which would impact negatively on the environment the patients need to be able to receive proper care. We are doing this for our patients.”
Elvis Akuamoah told Citi News on Saturday that the situation had not seen any improvements despite complaints from them and efforts of the top hierarchy of the hospital.
“Despite the efforts of hospital management to have the issue addressed, we as staff do not see any results to curb the situation. All we see is rapid degradation of the land at the frontage of the hospital and development of permanent structures for residence and business purposes at the cost of security for both staff and patients of this institution,” he stated in an address to the media.
“Staff of the hospital will start a sit-down strike from Monday, July 10 and we’ll follow it with a halt of the operations of the hospital from Wednesday, July 12 and then hit the streets if no action has been taken to address the situation and continue to stay away from the hospital until we see a resolution to the problem.”
The workers along with some residents in the area had issued a two-week ultimatum to the government in March to halt the encroachment of the lands.
They appealed to the President to heed their pleas and order the encroachment of their lands to be stopped.
“The lands have all been sold; even the churches have bought some. They have blocked all the pathways and have been making our lives miserable. We are not allowed to move freely anymore. We are pleading with the president, if these lands really belong to the state then government has to take it back.”