· Let me begin with a little history about Ghana’s government. For over a year now, insurance companies have not paid the government their dues. However, insurance holders have been permitted to use their coverage to receive healthcare during this time. The government finally had enough and eventually stopped paying the hospital. Therefore, any patient using insurance (which is nearly all patients) was getting care for “free” because the government did not have the funds to reimburse the hospital due to the insurance companies lack of compliance. On top of that, the government also failed to pay the employees monthly salaries since the month of May 2014. You would think employees would cease to show up for their shifts, but this was not the case. The people of Ghana are in this fight together and are going to make the best of their lives until the government gets straightened out.
The OLOG Hospital went on strike beginning July 2nd,
2014. They stopped accepting any form of health insurance so all patients who
wished to receive care were required to pay cash up front. Running procedures
this way completely cut out the governments role in the hospital.
Unfortunately, not many people in Ghana can afford to pay for care in cash.
This resulted in an extreme rush of patients on Monday June 30th,
using their health insurance for the last time, followed by empty hallways by
Wednesday July 2nd. I heard about the hospitals plans to strike in
advanced, but never believed that they would go through with it. Boy, was I
wrong. Normally by 9am the halls to the hospital are filled with people trying
to be admitted. On Wednesday, the halls remained silent the entire morning.
It was very sad to know that all the people who once filled the hall in need of care were now at home suffering. It was also hard to know that the employees hard at work have not been paid for nearly two months now. One of my co-workers said to me “we must all suffer through these times and pray that it will get better in the new election. Until then, we will live the best we can with what we have”. It was so inspiring to see how positive my co-workers were about the falling government. The next election is not until 2016 and I hope the government comes to some kind of resolve long before then.