The Out-Patient-Departments in public hospitals will be closed on Thursday as doctors join other workers to protest worsening living conditions in Ghana.
The General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Frank Serebour is even cajoling patients whose ailment may not need emergency attention to join them in the demonstration on Thursday in a march for survival and to demand better living conditions from government.
The Ghana Medical Association say only emergency cases and patients admitted in the hospitals will be attended to on the day set aside by workers to hit the streets in protest over poor living conditions.
Justice Yankson, Deputy Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress and a member of the Ghana Medical Association said the GMA fully endorsed the action taken by the TUC and will join in the demonstration.
He said doctors, like other workers in the country, are feeling the pinch of a rather harsh economic condition in the country.
“We go to the same markets as other workers,” he stated, adding, it is their “civic and democratic right” to express themselves by way of the demonstration.
He dismissed assertions that the strike was insensitive to the patients.
Dr Yankson said to what use would it be to patients if they are attended to by doctors, given prescriptions and yet they are unable to buy medicines because they don’t have money.
He said decision to take part in the demonstration will not in anyway detract from the doctors’ call to service.
But the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Haruna Iddrisu is appealing to the workers not suspend critical services.
He said Thursday’s demonstration is not a strike action and hopefully should not affect government businesses.
He said government has made a passionate appeal to the workers to ensure industrial peace and harmony so as to attract investment.
Haruna Iddrisu said government also appealed to workers to, even if they won’t call off the demonstration, reconsider the date of the demonstration as a way of respect to the memory of the late president John Mills.
President John Mills died on July 24, 2012 and the nation will be commemorating the 2nd Anniversary of his death on Thursday, a date that will coincide with the demonstration.
According to Haruna Iddrisu, the leadership of the TUC say they will go back to the rank and file to see if they will agree to a postponement but nothing has been heard thus far.
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