READERS’ MAIL: Open Letter to Striking Ghanaian Doctors…I Witnessed A Young Man Die From Asthma this Morning | Why Should the Innocent Ghanaian Suffer?

Doctor in Ghana

Doctor in Ghana

Dear Ghanaian Doctors,

I understand the root cause of the indefinite strike is the long-over due salary increases and the inability of government to resolve concerns over service conditions. I comprehend your lament because the requirement in your profession is very consuming but most often we overlook the trust, faith and work output in your services.

It is quite difficult to separate fact from exaggeration during doctors’ strikes due to media hype and the politics played around it. But the fundamental question remains: Should the innocent Ghanaian suffer??

Just this morning, I witnessed a young man die from asthma because there were no doctors present at the time needed. A huge depth of grief filled my heart as the situation could have been avoided but this innocent man is long gone due to our selfish, maligned interest.

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Forgive me but I am lost for words in terms of lexicon to surpass the situation and experience I had this morning. How many lives are still being played this moment due to our differential interest?

Rationally speaking, the value of human life is treated by society in relative terms but when doctors’ strike occur, its sanctity is professed in terms of the absolute. For the average income earning person who cannot afford the private health care; wasted money for transport, prolongation of suffering, treatment delays especially with emergencies, dangerous drug interruptions and ultimately death is the cost an ordinary Ghanaian has to pay.

I do not intend to look at the strike action in a negative light especially after the news of junior doctors lingering without salary. The problem lies in weighing the pros and cons. It is a fact that the burdens outweigh the benefits even if negotiations end well with the government. However, it is unethical if the injustice done to the patient outweighs the justice done to the doctors and their families. The problem is finding the right balance.

The consecutive strike action is a failure on the part of any government to act in accordance with its recognition on the importance of health care. Again, it is also a shame on the part of doctors to use human lives as detriment for their demands.

I’m humbly pleading on behalf of all innocent Ghanaian lives for the doctors to consider seriously their duties and obligations to selves and patients.

From: Redeemer Joe Edudzi/Ghana


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