Doctors On Warpath

Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei
Medical doctors in the country have warned of more strikes this year to press home grievances on unresolved pensions, market premium and salary adjustments.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says these unmet demands were the cause of their strikes in 2014, and so its members would not hesitate to lay down their tools this year too.

GMA blames government for having been unresponsive to their grievances since 2006.

GMA President, Dr Kwabena Opoku- Adusei says it would be in government’s own interest to swiftly act to avert further strikes this year.

“If government wants to stop or minimise the strike, it can by committing itself to the right thing that should be done”, said Dr. Opoku-Adusei.

According to him, if government continued to deny workers of their entitlements, they would be forced to go about their duties anyhow; adding ‘until government deals with the causes of strike actions, it will be difficult to stop such industrial actions in the country.’

Dr. Opoku-Adusei said on Oman Fm yesterday that the doctors and the dentists would continue their work in 2015 as professionals, but insisted that they could not work without better conditions of service to determine their benefit when they retire.

He maintained that every strike action is caused by government and disclosed that some of the things which the GMA expects government to deal with are the market premium and the condition of service package which should have been handed out to them in 2014.

‘With the strike actions, it is like the dumsor dumsor situation in the country; if the cause of the action is not resolved, it will continue. The issue is that we went to Medical School to become doctors and dentists; we didn’t attend strike school… ….the very issues we went on strike for, the government has refused to address them; our salary bindings, increment gabs, market premium and condition of service have not been addressed and how do you expect us to work effectively? Until government deals with things that cause strike actions, it will be difficult to stop strike actions in the country’, he emphasised.

The doctors boycotted hospitals last year after negotiations broke down at an emergency National Executive Council meeting between the GMA and government over what the association said were distortions created by the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC leading to the migration of its members onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

That strike and similar ones that followed were blamed for loss of lives at Ghana’s hospitals.

Dr Opoku-Adusei says even if doctors are forced to be in the consulting room when their demands are not met, quality of health care delivery may be affected.

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