Government is questioning the motive behind the Ghana Medical Association's (GMA) threats to withdraw emergency services starting Monday.
A statement signed by Information and Media Relations Minister Mahama Ayariga said government has put in much efforts to address the concerns of the doctors and wondered why the association will choose to embark on strike when they know what government is doing to resolve their problems.
“…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 said.
Read full statement below
GOVERNMENT PUTS IN PLACE EMERGENCY MEASURES AND EXPRESSES DISAPPOIINTMENT IN GHANA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ESCALLATION OF STRIKE ACTION
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.
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. Agreement was also reached on the modalities for dealing with the issue of Conversion Difference and Pension. 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.
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.
To avert any loss of lives, the President has directed the Ministers for Health, Defense and Interior to continue all efforts to ensure that the current arrangements to enable patients receive emergency medical attention in the military, police and other private hospitals accredited by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) are continued. All medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists on leave at these hospitals have been recalled from their leave. Also, retired doctors, nurses and pharmacists of these hospitals are being recalled. Government is boosting the capacity of these hospitals to take on additional emergencies. The National Ambulance Services is standing ready to support all patients needing emergency evacuation to the police and military hospitals.
The Minister for Heath will meet with heads of medical facilities to discuss and take additional measures to minimize impact of the strike and the enforcement of the Labour Act regarding the conduct of workers in the health sector.
The President commends all those gallant medical doctors who have, in appreciation of our national circumstance, made their services available to the Ghanaian populace including retired medical doctors who have reported to support the on-going remedial measures.
Every effort is being made by Government to ensure that the public is able to access health care even in emergency situations to avert any loss of life.
SIGNED HON. MAHAMA AYARIGA (MP) MINISTER
But the GMA says government is misinforming the public.
Its President Dr Opoku Adusei told Joy News “we did not make any agreement” as government is claiming.