General News of Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Striking pharmacists at public hospitals say they will completely withdraw their services including emergency services if government does not meet their demands by close of work Wednesday.
The Government Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) says its 10-day ultimatum to government ends Wednesday.
At a press conference Tuesday, GHOSPA said it would be withdrawing emergency as well as in-patient services from tomorrow with the hope that government would give in to their demands.
GHOSPA is continuing its strike following a breakdown in negotiations with government over their Interim Market Premium, Grade Structure Placement, and Conditions of Service.
Earlier, pharmacists in state-run hospitals across the country had served notice they will intensify their strike if government fails to heed their demands.
The strike has left patients in dire need of medications struggling to stay alive as critically ill patients are left stranded in some government health facilities.
According to GHOSPA, it finds it regrettable that government is not engaging them formally to resolve the impasse.
At its press conference held at the International Press Center in Accra, GHOSPA said its strike is not targeted at patients but rather the government.
GHOSPA claims it has been negotiating with government for the past six years but the authorities haven’t shown a commitment to address their concerns – all promises to them have been broken.
The striking pharmacists said they want a formal commitment from government to assure them that their demands will be met.
The leadership of GHOSPA said it is waiting for a national delegate conference to decide what their next line of action would be, but in the interim they will withdraw all service from tomorrow.
Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrissu, has appealed to the striking pharmacists to return to work.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, the minister explained that government was not in the position to grant GHOSPA’s request.
He said in order to save lives, they should return to work as they are still in the service of government and the Ghana Health Service.
“We will look into their issue in 2017; this year our compensation budgets have been stretched to its limits,” he promised.