Physician Ass’t strike – A/R Referral Hospitals fear congestion

Hospitals in the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi are dreading an imminent congestion in their facilities as physician assistants withdraw all outpatient services across the country.

These professionals play an integral part in the health infrastructure of the region as over seventy percent (70%) of all health facilities in the region, are manned by these health professionals.

Out of the over 200 medical facilities in the Ashanti region, only 32 made up of secondary and a tertiary referral facility have medical doctors with over a hundred and fifty superintended by physician assistants.

The medical superintendent for the Suntreso government hospital Dr Thomas Agyarko Poku told Ultimate News’ Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, the worse is bound to happen if the physician attendants do not return to the hospitals.

He explained,  “We have about five districts without doctors and all their health centres are being manned by physician assistants and when the patients go there and they don’t get care, they have to move here where they will get medical doctors so most hospitals with doctors are going to be loaded with patients. Cases that can easily be handled by health physicians will now become part of the duties of the medical doctors. Some of them may also decide to stay at home and come back with complications. So it is important that we get back these physician assistants.”

Meanwhile ultimate News’ checks with some district hospitals on the first day of the strike revealed no ready harsh impact of the strike action.

At the Bosomtwe District Hospital, the Physician Assistant who dabbles as the medical superintendent had left for what the nurses told Ultimate News was a national assignment in Mecca leaving the work to nurses.

Some student physician assistants on clinical at the hospital were seated in the consulting room but would not speak to the media on record.

At the AsuofiaDistrict Hospital, the Physician Assistant had gone on leave with the staff unaware of any strike action.

The physician assistants are protesting salary discrepancies, obsolete job description, poor conditions of service, and career progression/advancement/specialization for physician assistants, financial clearance for both public and privately trained physician assistants, internship allowance, NHIS medicine list among others.

By:Ghana/ Heatcote Fumador