The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is pushing for a national dialogue to addressing the deteriorating conditions in the country’s prisons.
The association believes that a national conference on the health of prisoners and other vulnerable groups with the involvement of all key stakeholders would help address the welfare of prison inmates.
This were part of recommendations made by the GMA in a communiqué issued and signed by its President and General Secretary, Dr Frank Ankobea, and Dr Justice Yankson, respectively at the end of its 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Tamale under the theme; “The Health of Prisoners and other Vulnerable Groups in Ghana: The Realities and Expectations”.
According to the GMA, the state had a duty of care to prisoners at all times, hence government must ensure that there is a holistic and comprehensive health care delivery for prisoners at all levels including better resourcing of the Ghana Prisons Service and improving the prison’s infrastructure.
Dr. FAnkobea remarked: “There is currently a crisis situation in Ghana’s prisons that impacts negatively on the general welfare of prisoners especially their health. The fact that 82 per cent of inmates were below 35 years, and the public health threats emanating from the prisons including overcrowding, high-risk sexual behaviours, drug abuse, poor diet and hygiene, infections and substandard health care.”
The Medical association also wants the government to urgently address all matters relating their conditions of service which has expired since December 31, 2018. It said failure by the government to reengage the GMA in a positive way would compel doctors and dentists in all public health facilities withdrawing their services within specific timeframes:
“Effective Monday, November 18, 2019, all medical doctors and dentists working in the public sector shall withdraw outpatient department services. This will continue until Sunday, December 01, 2019”. It said “From Monday, December 02, 2019, to Sunday, December 08, 2019, all emergency services shall be withdrawn”. It added that “From Monday, December 09, 2019, all services shall be totally withdrawn” Dr. Ankobea futher warned.
Source: www.diamondfmonline.com | Ghana