GMA strike will not stall healthcare delivery – MoH
General News of Monday, 8 April 2013
The Ministry of Health has assured that the general public that it has provided some mitigating measures to minimize the impact of the strike action by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and Government Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA).
Below is the full statement by the Ministry of Health
MINISTRY OF HEALTH ASSURES GENERAL PUBLIC
The Ministry of Health wishes assure the general public it has provided some mitigating measures to minimise the impact of the strike action by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and Government Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA).
The Ministry is in the process of providing additional medical consumables and drugs to the 37 Military and the Police Hospitals.
We are also seeking to put in place emergency plan to handle all cases, whilst we seek amicable solution to the current misunderstanding between the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Labour Commission, GHOSPA and GMA.
In these regard, we wish to ask the general public to stay calm since healthcare delivery is not going to be stalled.
It is our hope that Members of the Ghana Medical Association and Government Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) would cooperate with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and Labour Commission in resolving all issues relating to their remuneration.
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.
Section 162 of the labour Act, (Act 651) provides that a party to an industrial dispute shall not resort to strike action when negation is in progress.
In addition to the efforts of the FWSC, the Ministry of Health has created opportunities for the parties to work towards a progressive solution.
The negotiation has not concluded. Our understanding is that FWSC is still committed to continuing the negations.
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 the GMA and GHOSPA continued to negotiate with a view to reaching agreement with the FWSC.
The Ministry wishes to remind the GMA that as providers of essential services, they are enjoined by section 162 of the Labour Act to refer any problems they may have with the negotiation process to the Labour Commission if they are of the view that negotiation has broken down.
The ministry is therefore urging the GMA and GHOPA members to rescind their decision and return to work while they continue to negotiate the FWSC or allow the National Commission to arbitrate.