Former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, is of the strong view that the decision by the National Labour Commission (NLC) to haul striking members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to court, will rather aggravate.
Public sector doctors have been on strike for about two weeks which began with their refusal to treat out-patients over the nonpayment of salary arrears and distortions in their pensions and market premium on the new pay structure.
The doctors, this week, threatened to activate the second phase of their strike by refusing to treat emergency cases even though government has agreed to pay their arrears in installment and the NLC described their strike as illegal.
This pushed the NLC to drag the GMA to court seeking to compel the striking doctors to go back to work.
But Maxwell Kofi Jumah, who was speaking on Adom FM, opined that “the court case is a wrong move, I believe that will rather worsen the case and they (doctors) will not be compelled to go back to work. I was hoping they (NLC) could come to an amicable settlement.”
He however said since Mr. Kofi Annan pleaded with the doctors to withdraw their strike, the NLC should have capitalized on that to follow up on reviving the stalled talks.
“Since Kofi Annan pleaded with the doctors, I was thinking they (NLC) will use his (Kofi Annan) wisdom to call on the GMA president to negotiate. The court case will rather deepen their wound and that will not lead the NLC anywhere.
“…If you listen to Dr. Kwabena Opoku Edusei, president of the GMA, he is not representing himself but the whole of the GMA so if they (NLC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), it does not end there. He also have to explain things to his executives so if they don’t approve, it doesn’t work,” he said.
Meanwhile, an Accra High Court on Thursday adjourned to Wednesday, May 8, a suit directing the GMA to call off its strike. The writ filed on Thursday, April 18, by Mr Tuinese Edward Amuzu, a legal practitioner and the plaintiff, is also asking for a perpetual injunction to restrain doctors from embarking on a strike or a partial withdrawal of their services.
The adjournment was necessitated when the counsel for the GMA told the court presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante that the Association was served at a short notice.