Ghanaian Doctors Call Off 3-Week Old Strike
The Ghana Medical Association, GMA, has announced a suspension of its three-week old strike which sought to demand improved and well-documented conditions of service for doctors.
A statement issued by the association said the National Executive Council, NEC, considered the appeals from members of general public, the clergy, and the National Council of Chiefs, influential individuals and others.
The decision announced on Friday evening August 21, comes two days after the National Labor Commission, NLC, met with all the parties and directed the GMA to call off the strike in order for negotiations to continue.
The strike had taken a toll on health service delivery with the GMA having over 2,500 members in various public hospitals.
Patients in huge numbers crowded the few public and other NHIS accredited health facilities, as some also resorted to other means for medication.
Negotiations over doctors’ demand for improved and well-documented conditions of service have stalled in the past two weeks forcing doctors to intensify a strike action that has severely affected health delivery nationwide.
The doctors have threatened they may resign en bloc if their demands are not met after exhausting the needed processes.
In calling off the strike, the statement said emergency and outpatient department care resumes immediately, whiles full services takes effect from Monday September 24.
“In as much as the National Executive Council, NEC, is aware that the general membership would like to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion, the NEC of the GMA decides as follows;
1. That the ongoing withdrawal of out-patient and emergency services by the member of the GMA is suspended.
2. That the suspension takes effect from Monday 24th of August 2015.
3. That all members of the GMA should fully restore their services effective 8:00am on the said date.
4. That the negotiations committee of the GMA should continue to negotiate on behalf of the members of the GMA with government such that the conclusion of negotiations would be fed into the 2016 budget for implementation of same.
5. That all members should wait for the further information from leadership as and when it becomes necessary.
The statement was signed by President and General Secretary of GMA, Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei and Dr. Frank Serebour respectively. Dr. Frank Serebuor later told Accra-based Citi FM, that they expect the National Labour Commission to arbitrate the matter fairly.
He says they are also hopeful that government, the media and Ghanaians at large, will not go to sleep on their demands because the strike has been suspended.