General News of Monday, 22 April 2013
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has denied reports that its members have engaged the Health and Employment Ministers over the intensification of their strike on Monday.
Media reports say the two ministries are trying to persuade the doctors to change their minds about the industrial action.
The General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Frank Serebuor in an interview with Citi News however refuted the claim and insisted that, “nobody had engaged the GMA today (Sunday).”
“No that is not true. We are even in Kumasi. My president is in Kumasi. I just spoke to those in Accra and nobody has heard anything. We are not part of any meeting. As of now, we have not heard anything concrete so we are waiting.
Fortunately, we put up this road map two weeks ago and we’ve indicated that we will withdraw emergency services after a week but after a week, we realized that there was some progress so we postponed the withdrawal of emergency services for another week and that week has expired so unfortunately we may have to follow our road map.”
According to reports, the Health Minister, Sherry Ayittey and the Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Nii Armah Ashittey, have been directed to ensure that the doctors do not activate the second stage of their industrial action.
The current industrial action by the doctors is by far the longest strike any labour union has embarked on this year.
The GMA is demanding the full payment of delayed allowances since 2012, as well as the resolution of issues relating to reduced pensions and others.
There are fears many lives could be lost if the doctors refuse to attend to emergency cases.
The doctors insist they will stay away from the consulting rooms unless issues relating to the conversion difference and reduced pensions are addressed.
The National Executive Council of the GMA on Saturday directed its members to withdraw all emergency services from Monday, April 22, 2013.
In a brief statement issued and signed by the General Secretary of the GMA “all doctors are from Monday, the 22nd of April, expected to now attend to in-patients until their discharge.”