Patients turned away as doctors begin nationwide strike

Scores of patients are being turned away as doctors across the country begin a nationwide strike.

The doctors are embarking on the strike to protest the failure their employer, the government, to provide them with conditions of service.

According to them, they have had to work for several years without a document that determines their welfare.

Apart from a two-week mortuary fees a doctor is entitled to when he or she dies, the doctors say there is nothing that indicates how they will be treated if they or a family member falls sick.

A July 29 deadline given government to provide them with a document on their conditions of service or face mass resignations expired yesterday.

A meeting held between the doctors and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Wednesday ended in a deadlock.

After almost four hours of negotiation, the representatives of the GMA said there were unresolved issues in the proposal they submitted to government for their conditions of service.

They have since declared a strike .
General Secretary of the Association, Dr Frank Serebour told Joy News’ Matilda Wemegah that “as we speak now the GMA is on strike, we can now go home and sleep and declare ourselves unemployed”.

Joy News’ Francis Abban visited the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and reports that patients who have been waiting since 4:00am have been told to seek medical attention elsewhere because doctors are not available to attend to them.

According to Francis the patients have been told to return to the hospital next week.

The patients say even though they understand the plight of the doctors, it was unfair that they have to bear the brunt of government’s inaction.

Management of the hospital would not grant an interview but said the situation is being monitored and an alternative means of providing health care to patients will be sought if that becomes necessary.

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