Source: myjoyonline.com - Doctors across the country will accept no excuse from government and will en masse withdraw their services if government refuses to meet their demands for improved conditions of service.
"We are not kids and will not allow any form of
machinations to come our way" General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association Dr Justice Yankson fumed in an interview with Joy FM's Evans Mensah, Monday.
Except a two week free mortuary services for a deceased doctor, all surviving doctors do not receive any other allowance apart from their salaries.
This, the doctors are unhappy about. They gave a June 30 deadline to withdraw their services if their conditions of service are not improved but the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health Tony Goodman said the government cannot be blamed for the delay.
According to him, government has completed partial work on a new document but is awaiting review by a committee chaired by the Ghana Medical Association president to round up negotiations.
"We are only waiting for that document they are working on so we go into the second stage which is negotiation," We have not received the document, how do we go into negotiation?" he asked.
The explanation by Tony Goodman has not gone down well with the Ghana Medical Association.
Dr Justice Yankson said the GMA has no problem if government wants to bring all identifiable groups within the health sector onto the new improved conditions of service but was quick to add that doctors will not be delayed by government's decision.
"The Ghana Medical Association has been the only body that has hammered on this business of conditions of service up till today. It is only today that i am hearing the nurses and the health services workers union all of them coming to say some few words.
"...When the GMA gave its ultimatum as far back as November 9, 2014, where was everybody? How come government suddenly decided to negotiate something for everybody?
"I am not saying others should not get conditions of service. Don't get me we wrong. To us at GMA what we are saying is that we gave our deadline as far back as November and government sat aloof..."
He said after several reminders about their threats to go on strike the Labour Minister decided it was considering all others in the health sector for the implementation of the conditions of service.
"If you bring a whole lot of people on board and you decide that because of them things are going to drag we are not going to accept anything beyond that. "We don't have a problem if they want to do it for everybody but they should not use that as a basis to delay us," he stated.
He said the committee has completed its work and submitted its report to the Ministry two weeks ago and wondered why the PRO will claim the committee is yet to complete its work.
Governments have consistently frowned upon strikes by medical doctors and have always reminded the doctors that they are part of the essential services and cannot go on strike.
But Dr Yankson said the government cannot continuously talk about essential services when they are not ready to fulfill the conditions that come with essential services.
He said if the government fails to meet their demands by the June 30 deadline they will carry out their threat.
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