General News of Thursday, 11 April 2013
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says its members are gearing up to activate the second phase of their strike on Monday April 15.
The action, if carried out, will see doctors cease attending to emergency services, a move feared to likely put a lot of lives at risk.
The GMA says it will go ahead with the second phase of the strike because of the posture government and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission have taken on the matter.
Government, per its latest statement, described the GMA strike as an illegal act.
Secretary of GMA, Dr. Frank Serebour in an interview with Citi News however said the GMA was going to remain resolute on its request until their allowances are paid.
“On Monday, we are going to have to go into the second phase of the strike. We are going to withdraw emergency services and attend to only in-patients,” he stated.
Dr Serebour further stated: “Have you seen the litigation measures that the government is putting in place to ensure people do not suffer? And telling us that our services are not very important and they have a list of private clinics. It is clear that even if we withdraw our services totally, it will still not have any effect.”
“We are going to withdraw our services so it doesn’t have any effect and see how the measures they put in place will work for all of us as Ghanaians. We don’t think our actions are even affecting anybody because government has made it clear it is not,” he noted.
When asked why they had not proceeded to court to compel government to implement the NLC’s ruling on the payment of their allowances, Dr Serebour said they were told by the NLC that it did not have enough resources.
“There was a time we suggested to the NLC to take the FWSC to court to ensure they abide by their ruling. They indicated to us that they are unable to do so because they did not have enough resources to do that and asked if the GMA could provide resources; which we don’t have,” he stated.
“The NLC may be telling the truth about not having enough resources but that does not mean they cannot afford the mandate they have been given to fulfill. We feel that the Fair Wages is not respecting their decision.”