Gov’t Statement Against Doctors “Disappointing” – Labour Consultant

Labour consultant Senyo Adjabeng has described as “disappointing”, a statement issued by the government that questioned the motive behind the decision by striking public Doctors to intensify their action by withdrawing emergency services.

Mr Adjabeng said the statement risked exacerbating the already deteriorating negotiations between the Government and the striking Doctors.

He warned that: “The statement that has been issued again is equally disappointing and does not help the situation because, what it does is that, it opens up the issue in the public domain again”.

Mr Adjabeng noted that: “When [a] statement like this [is] issued, it forces the other party to defend itself, it’s like it’s backed into a corner”.

The statement read: “Government is disappointed that the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have escalated their strike action with a sole objective of causing more hardship for Ghanaians although Government has done all that is required of it following an agreement signed with Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, President of Ghana Medical Association”.

It said: “The GMA accepted a Government proposed payment schedule for the arrears of the Market Premium of the medical doctors for the period up to April 2013”.

It added that: “Agreement was also reached on the modalities for dealing with the issue of Conversion Difference and Pension” and therefore asserted that: “The action of GMA violates a decision of the National Labour Commission (NLC) on 10th April 2013 directing GMA to call off the strike and resume work immediately following Government’s provision of adequate guarantees that all the terms of the agreement will be implemented on schedule”.

The Government noted that: “At a meeting between GMA, Government and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on 11th April 2013 the leaders of GMA and all the parties also agreed that “… the issue of Conversion Difference and Pension is being dealt with by the Single Spine Post-Migration Technical Committee, Government and the Ghana Medical Association will ensure commitment to the process””.

“Subsequently, the Single Spine Post-Migration Committee (a sub-committee of the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC)) met the leadership of GMA ON 12TH April, 2013 and a deadline of 25th April 2013 was communicated to the GMA for the completion of the work of the sub-committee of the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) on SSS Post-Migration Technical Committee”.

“After all these efforts to address the concerns of the GMA, Government is disappointed in the leadership of the GMA and questions their motivation in embarking on this extreme measure of withdrawal of even emergency medical services with potential of causing loss of lives”, the statement read.

Mr Senyo Adjabeng told XYZ News in an interview that the media banter between the Government and the Doctors has led to the matter getting “murkier”.