General News of Saturday, 6 April 2013
Source: Joy Online
The assertion by former Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, which sought to suggest that doctors and teachers are below the level of MPs on social stratification has irritably stirred the hornet’s nest of doctors.
The former MP’s outburst was in response to the huge public outcry over the payment of ex-gratia to MPs at a time when teachers, doctors and other public and civil servants are protesting delays in salary arrears. With a passionate tone, he asked during a discussion on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen on Thursday, “If you are a doctor is the MP your co-equal? If you are a teacher is the MP your co-equal?”
But President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Kwabena Adusei Poku told Joy FM’s Top Story that although the comments were “unfortunate”, it goes to confirm the disregard people have for their concerns.
He observed that anytime doctors decide to embark on strike when all avenues to address their concerns have failed, people rather direct their anger at them and “insult” them.
“A minister called us blood money, somebody even said we have unbalanced mind when we talked about the National Health Insurance, and then a small boy at the Wages and Salary Commission said that we are ridiculous.”
Dr Adusei Poku however warned Members of Parliament to be circumspect with their utterances to maintain the respect the public have for them, especially those who by the grace of parliament have attained certain social status.
“If members of parliament want us to continue respecting them they must watch the way they speak so that we also accord them the rightful place in society.”
He however placed on record: “I don’t know of any school that teaches how to become an MP, I know a school that teaches people to become doctors and dentists… They can say what they want to say we leave it to the electorate and Ghanaians to judge them.”
He also maintained that the doctors are not in position to compare themselves to any profession, but are only demanding what is “just due and must be paid” them based on the 4th November 2011 ruling by the National Labour Commission.
The President of GMA also accused the Fair Wages and Salary Commission of being “impotent” by allowing the government to control them.
He said even though meetings have been held since 2011, parties involved have not been able to arrive at any positive result.
Dr Adusei Poku announced that the Ghana Medical Association would be meeting on Saturday to decide on their next line of action.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Irene Adanusa said the comparison of teachers, doctors and politicians is needless.