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Finally, Cardio Doctors Call Off Strike Action
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Peacefmonline.com can confirm that surgeons at the National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCTC) at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital who suspended their services on Monday in protest against the dismissal of their colleague and mentor Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, and to demand his re-instatement, have called off their strike action.

Dr Lawrence Agyeman Serebour told Shamima Muslim in an interview on Citi Eye Witness News that the doctors reached an agreement late on Tuesday, after several hours of deliberations following the meeting with President Mills on Monday.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng was summarily relieved of his post on Thursday, August 25th, by the Minister of Health, Joseph Yieleh Chireh. The letter directed Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng to consider his appointment duly terminated with immediate effect.

However, medical staff at the Cardio Centre including specialists and other health workers laid down their tools in protest against the arbitrary dismissal of the renowned heart surgeon by the government.

The strike embarked on by doctors and staff of the Cardio Centre, entered its second day on Tuesday despite the intervention of President John Evans Atta Mills. Doctors and staff at the Centre on Monday suspended all elective operations and clinics, the first such action since its inauguration 22 years ago.

Indeed, the Out-Patient Department was still empty and no new cases were being seen as at midday on Tuesday.

But later on Tuesday, President Mills paid an unannounced visit to the centre whiles the striking doctors were engaged in a heated meeting to decide on their next line of action.

“I decided just to come and then see how things are going, and to see things for myself. That is why I am here...As a human institution, your action which followed the dismissal was not out of the blue...i understood things the way they were...My visit is to let you know that we are concerned and to demonstrate the commitment and willingness of the government to work with you to achieve the Better Ghana Agenda...My major concern is to make sure that whatever has to be done is done quickly, so that those who come for treatment, that is the fresh cases will be attended to, that is my concern, and I would want to appeal to you, that perhaps, to quicken the pace of deliberation so that the many people who have reposed confidence in this centre, the many people who can swear by this centre, are not disappointed in the end, thank you,” President Mills told the doctors present at the meeting held at the Cardio Centre.

The doctors, led by Dr Lawrence Serebour, gave the assurance that the "best of this centre we have in mind, it is the best interest of our country that we have in mind, and we want to take the right decision so that our patients do not suffer."

Dr Serebour later confirmed to CitiFM that they reached an agreement to call off the strike action late on Tuesday, after several hours of deliberations on the matter.

"The president has personally intervened and with the assurances we have been given we feel the future of the centre is secure and we can go back to work. We want to respect the office of the President and listen to him as our father; we think subsequent issues can be ironed out… Certainly if the head is taken away, it will affect the team but the team has resolved and we are back to work, admitting new patients...Prof. Frimpong-Boateng with his experience can still contribute to the Centre...Prof. is still important to the centre and we will still fall on him for advice...we hold him high as our father…wherever he is, he still has a lot to contribute to the centre," he said.

Commenting on reports that a patient died as a result of their suspension of services, Dr. Serebour indicated that the deceased was a kidney patient and was not suffering from a heart condition.

“…One loss of life is reported and it is very regrettable. However, the person who died was a kidney patient and not a heart patient and so the doctors cannot be blamed for that. We have looked into the matter......instead of following the direction they were given to the medical block where the patient was referred to for treatment, they rather came to the cardio centre," he explained.
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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