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10 July 2017

Health ministry skirts around encroachment issue as mental health nurses demand action

After years of unfettered encroachment on lands belonging to the Psychiatric hospital, nurses say enough is enough.

In an unusual move, the nurses have refused to end a strike to press home their demand for a proactive response from the Ministry of Health.

Not even a meeting with the CEO of the mental health Authority (MHA) Dr. Akwasi Osei and the leadership of the hospital could persuade the staff to return to their posts.

In a response from the Health ministry, the PRO Robert Cudjoe joined the nurses to complain about the encroachment.

He blamed the problem on the attitude of the average Ghanaian and expressed shock at a “bizarre” judgement in favour of an encroacher who dragged the hospital to court years ago.

The PRO called for national attention on the rate of impunity going on at the hospital situated near a village called Pantang, about 1.6 kilometres off the Accra- Aburi road and 25 kilometres from Accra Central.

Joy News JOYNEWS’ Maxwel Agbagba and Joy FM Super Morning Show host Kojo Yankson visited the 1975 facility and confirmed the rate of land loss is “horrible”.

Pantang hospital

The lands in front of the hospital and parts of the mortuary and an area reserved for physical exercises of the patients had been encroached by private developers.

Pointing to a building situated on hospital property, the CEO of the mental health Authority (MHA) Dr. Akwasi Osei said “if I have my way this should be pulled down”

He expressed fears that “in the very near future there will be no land for the hospital”.

He said while he does not necessarily support the action of the nurses, “they are adamant because this thing has gone on for too long”.

He warned the Ministry of Health and the Lands Commission to get their acts together to protect the hospital

“Let today be a warning to all of us and to the Ministry of Health”

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