General News of Thursday, 8 September 2016
The Government and Hospitals Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) has vowed not to heed to the call by government to call of its strike until their demand for an upgraded market premium is met by the government.
Workers at the various government health facilities across the country on Monday, September 5, laid off their tools to push the government to resolve issues relating to their market premium which they say have been lingering for the last six years.
Employment and Labour Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, told a news conference in Accra Wednesday that there is little the government can do this year on the issue considering that it was not captured in the2016 budget.
“There is little that can be done because it was not budgeted for in the 2016 budget, therefore government is unable to accede to their request,” Mr Iddrisu told the workers and appealed to them to resume work while they dialogue on the issue.
But responding to the minister’s plea Thursday morning on 3FM’s Sunrise morning show, General Secretary of GHOSPA, Emmanuel Wiafe, said they cannot accept the plea, arguing government knew of the demand six years ago hence it was out of place to say it was not budgeted for.
“We won’t call off the strike until we have a clear cut agreement with government on the way forward. They can’t tell us they haven’t budgeted for it when they have known about our concern six years ago. The statement by the minister is totally misplaced and we can’t accept it,” Mr Wiafe said.
Mr Wiafe has said they are ready to face any action by the government, and also called the bluff National Labour Commission which has sued the association for embarking on what it describes as an illegal strike. “We are prepared to face the NLC in court,” he stated.
The strike is affecting healthcare delivery in government-run health facilities as all pharmacists have ceased rendering their services. Patients using health insurance are the worst hit as they have had to buy drugs that would have been dispensed free of charge from private pharmacies