Ministry announces service plan as pharmacists’ strike

Accra, Sept 11, GNA
– The Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced measures to ensure the continuous
supply of medicines to patients at all public health institutions following the
pending strike called by the Government Hospital Pharmacists Association

A statement issued
by the Ministry’s Public Relations Unit, and released to the Ghana News Agency,
over the weekend directed heads of institutions and agencies to abide by the
guidelines and make sure patients got the necessary services.

It said: “While the
Ministry wishes to state that as negotiations continue to resolve the strike
action (sic), all heads of Units and Directorates in public health facilities
remain at post to work with other non-striking staff available.

“The heads are also
to ensure there is continuous dispensing of medications at the facilities,
while patients on admission and out-patients continue to have complete supply
of medications.

“The pharmacies are
to remain open for non-striking staff to handle and supervised by the Head as
managers to maintain constant communication…”.

The Ministry said
it was monitoring the situation to ensure uninterrupted service delivery and
advised the public to remain calm as the Government stayed on with negotiations
to resolve the impasse.

It appealed to the
pharmacists to restore services while negotiations continued.

“While the Ministry
commits itself to ensuring fair and adequate remuneration for all categories of
health workers, it is the view of the Ministry that this can only be done through
proper procedure and respect for law,” the statement said.

“Section 162 of the
Labour Act, (Act 651) provides that a party to an industrial dispute shall not
resort to strike action when negotiation is in progress,” it quoted, saying,
“The negotiation has not concluded.”

“Our understanding
is that Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC) is still committed to
continuing the negotiations.

“It is, therefore,
the view of the Ministry that the people of Ghana, the poor and vulnerable as
well as distressed patients would be served should GHOSPA continue to negotiate
with a view to reaching agreement with the FWSC.”

The Ministry
reminded the pharmacists that as providers of essential services, they were
enjoined by section 162 of the Labour Act to refer any problem relating to the
negotiation process to the Labour Commission.

“This has been done
at the Labour Commission…” the statement said.

It urged the
striking pharmacists to rescind their decision and return to work while
negotiations continued with the FWSC or to allow the National Labour Commission
to arbitrate.


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