The National Labour Commission (NLC) has ordered striking Nurses at the Accra Psychiatric hospital to call off their industrial action and return to work with immediate effect.
The direction comes on the back of a meeting the Commission had on Wednesday with the Minister of Health, representatives of the nurses and authorities of the hospital.
Nurses at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital declared an indefinite strike on Monday, October 31 following what they call government’s failure to provide the facility with the basic logistics needed to carry out their work effectively.
According to the nurses, attempts to get a lasting solution to their problems have proved futile.
In a statement released on Sunday, October 30, 2016, Chairperson of the Nurses, Jamila Hussein said: “Effective Monday 31st October, 2016, no nurse will subject him/herself to the danger posed by the workplace until such a time where we have reasonable cause to believe that the place is made safe.”
But the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Charles Adongo Bawaduah, said the nurses have breached the labour laws following their failure to notify the NLC before embarking on the strike.
The NLC has subsequently asked the Ministry of Health to come out with immediate solutions to the challenges at the hospital.
Meanwhile, management of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital is being forced to discharge more than 200 patients on admission at the facility following the strike action by the nurses.
Chairman of the Mental Health Authority Dr. Akwesi Osei believes the move to discharge some of the patients will ease pressure on the few workers available at the facility.
This is not the first time nurses at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital have embarked on a strike.
In 2015, nurses at the facility embarked on an indefinite strike over unpaid salaries, but later called it off following government’s intervention.
The hospital, last month, also shut down its OPD due to financial constraints. It however reopened it following intervention by the Mental Health Authority.