Head of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Directorate at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Prof Akwasi Antwi-Kusi has stated that the ongoing industrial action by members of the Certified Registered Anaesthetists has not taken a toll on healthcare delivery at the hospital.

This, he noted, is the result of contingency measures put in place to ensure uninterrupted emergency and elective services to the public.

Prof Akwasi Antwi-Kusi in an interview with JoyNews on Wednesday said there are personnel available to hold the fort despite pressure on them in the wake of the increased number of cases.

“Usually, when it happens like this, you have to stop elective cases and attend to emergencies but we’ve not stopped any elective cases, we’ve not stopped any emergencies. We are receiving referrals from all over in Kumasi and Ashanti Region and the doctors are contributing.

I mean work that has to be done by 50 several registered anaesthetists now the few doctors that I have here are doing the work and I really commend them for the hard work that they are putting up to make sure that we don’t lose a life,” he said.

However, Prof Antwi-Kusi lamented that should the strike action continue, health care delivery at the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit of KATH will be interrupted.

He explained that some doctors are working extra due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing strike action by the Certified Registered Anaesthetists.

“In fact, we have been stretched to the limit. When Covid-19 came in, a lot of my doctors were re-assigned to take care of Covid-19 patients. So now we have some of the doctors taking care of Covid-19 patients at the intensive care and then if you come to the normal intensive care here too, it’s my doctors who are supposed to be working here.

In the wake of this strike, I have to call some of them, some of them have to work extra. Some have worked for 24 hours and they are still on their feet working. If this thing prolongs then obviously they are going to break down, they can’t cope because the referrals are coming all over. I mean if you are doing ten cases and now you are doing 25 to 30, then you can see how big the problem is,” he added.

Members of the Certified Registered Anaesthetists in a letter addressed to the Health Minister announced the withdrawal of their services, effective January 1, 2022.

A letter co-signed by the President, James Nwinsagra and General Secretary, Frederick K. Kporxah explained that they took the decision because members have not been duly licenced, “members don’t hold a licence to practice.”

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