Pharmacists at the Komfo Anokye Taching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi are turning away patients with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards and insisting on cash before drugs are dispensed.
The pharmacists told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi that they would also not attend to patients on holidays, at night and on weekends.
The action of the pharmacists followed the decision by the Government and Hospital and Pharmacists Association (GHPA) to begin a nationwide strike in reaction to the failure on the part of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to resolve the issues pertaining to their migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).
Following the expiration of the ultimatum given by the pharmacists to the government to implement the recommendation of a Cabinet subcommittee report on salary and wage disparities with other health workers, especially doctors, the pharmacists said they had no option but to embark on a partial strike.
During a visit by the Daily Graphic to KATH patients who had no money to pay for their drugs were seen pleading for help.
A pharmacist who was emotionally touched seeing a wailing mother calling for help to save her son decided to personally give money to save the boy.
Pleading anonymity, the female pharmacist said, “Much as we empathise with these patients, there is very little an individual can do.”
“if we don’t strike now, we will be taken for granted,” she told the Daily Graphic.
The Public Relations Officer of KATH, Mr Kwame Frimpong, told the Daily Graphic that apart from the Pharmacy Department, NHIS card-bearing patients were receiving normal treatment at all departments.
Source: Daily Graphic
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