The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says it hopes for a favorable response from the Health Ministry following its threat to withdraw Out Patient Department (OPD) services from August 6.
The GMA after its fourth National Executive Council meeting held in Jirapa in the Upper West Region issued a one-week ultimatum to the government to resolve all outstanding issues concerning the employment of doctors.
[contextly_sidebar id=”uXIfc3kQz9rmCdvt0eT6iSg64dB80ROB”]Officials at the Health Ministry have told Citi News they are working round the clock to avert the intended strike by the Health workers.
But the President of the GMA, Dr. Frank Ankobea tells Citi News that although the Ministry has not officially engaged the Association, it hopes its efforts will result in a positive outcome.
“We can’t be more than hopeful. That is what we are looking forward to. If they are meeting to resolve the issues, that is brilliant.”
“The only thing [we have] is a letter from the Labour Commission copied to us [saying] we are inviting the ministry to resolve these things.”
“I think I only need to be hopeful that they will address the issue and then we will all avoid the unpleasant thing of withdrawal of services by doctors,” Dr. Frank Ankobea stated.
The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the Ministries of Health, Finance and Employment and Labour Relations to within three days furnish it with measures put in place to prevent a looming nationwide strike by doctors in the country.
“When we were given notice of a strike or a looming danger, we wrote to the three ministries, Finance, Health and Employment and Labour to apprise the commission on what steps they are taking to avert it because we are aware of this issue for some time now; the issue of arrears and market premium and other things. So we are being proactive. We’ve given them 3 days.”
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has also threatened a strike, which the commission is contending with, in addition to the doctors.
The doctor’s demands
Among the doctor’s demands, the GMA in a statement said non-core expenditures of the National Health Insurance Authority should be suspended because of the financial struggles afflicting the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The GMA also raised concerns with the implementation of the conditions of service document signed in October 2015.
In addition, it wants their market premiums to return to a factor percentage of basic salary.
If these, among other demands, are not left, first, all doctors working in the public service shall withdraw Out-Patient services from August 6.
From August 20, all emergency services shall be withdrawn, then on August 27, all services offered by doctors in the public health facilities shall be totally withdrawn.
By: Zoe Abu-Baidoo & Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana