Members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) working under the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have given government a June 30, 2015 ultimatum to spell out their conditions of service.
The doctors are frustrated by government’s failure to put in place service conditions for them as essential service providers.
They have warned they will consider themselves unemployed if their conditions of service are not negotiated and signed by the stipulated date.
A communiqué issued by the Ghana Medical Association at the end of its Annual General Conference in Takoradi, said it will pursue this agenda till the deadline after which the doctors will consider themselves unemployed.
Dr. Justice Yankson, Deputy General Secretary of the GMA told Joy News, doctors “don’t have anything at all” that they could hold on to as their job specifications, adding “that is how bad it is”.
“When we get to that point (withdrawing of service) we shouldn’t be blamed,” especially if the government does not do its part, he cautioned.
The conditions of service, he said, will properly spell out their terms of engagement – both financial and non-financial components. It will improve service delivery as well as make people accountable, he added.
The doctors say they find it unacceptable to pay for their own medical care after contracting diseases in the line of duty.
When a doctor dies, he or she would qualify for only two weeks of free mortuary services, he bemoaned.
“I work in Korle Bu, if I should fall sick in the course of treating patients [and] I pick some infections from my patient, I will end up at the ward. I will buy my own drugs and when I am discharged I will also be given a bill for sleeping on the hospital bed.”
Dr. Yankson also said it took the leadership of the union to avert a strike today.
“In fact they wanted it now, now. The truth is that they wanted to put down their tools effective today.”
Meanwhile the Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, told Joy News, the doctors deserve to be given a condition of service.
He said the various health professional bodies have developed their conditions of service, which have been put together by the Ghana Health Service for the Finance Ministry.
He is hopeful the Ministry would within a short term send the proposal to cabinet for consideration.