19 September 2012

Ghana: Do These Lives Really Matter?


Whenever health workers embark on a strike action, irrespective of the duration it takes, the effects are always disastrous. In the recent past, doctors embarked on series of strike actions to press home their demands for proper migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

The doctors had, during their migration onto the spine, detected that the spine was defective and needed repair. The tango with the government about the resolution of the defective spine took weeks, and the repercussions of the strike actions were grave.

Many lost their lives needlessly, which could have been saved if the health workers were on duty.

During such strike actions, it is the poor, who cannot afford the expensive treatment in private hospitals, who suffer the most. A few weeks ago, consultants at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital embarked on a strike action, and the results are no different.

A number of people were reported to have died as a result of the strike action.

The government, during the strike period, assumed an entrenched position, which made the consultants feel as though they were being intimidated to succumb to pressure.

The Chronicle's concern is that while the government often enters into some of these needless tangos over issues of legitimate claims by workers, the loss of human lives is rather unfortunate.

Often, nothing is said about these regrettable deaths when calm is restored after the storm, and The Chronicle is the least enthused about the way human lives are treated with such contempt.

Each and everyone has the right to life, and that is why The Chronicle thinks people whose actions and inactions cause others to die needlessly, must be made to answer for them.

While The Chronicle appreciates efforts by both the government and consultants at the Komfo Anokye Hospital to find lasting solutions to the problem, we urge human rights and civil society groups to rise to the occasion in seeking an interest in some of these issues of unnecessary deaths.

Meanwhile, The Chronicle is calling for full scale investigations into the deaths recorded at the hospital during the period, and those responsible brought to book. Every life counts and none should be taken for granted.

"People matter, you matter". Do they really matter?

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