GMA suspends scheduled Aug 6 withdrawal of outpatient services

GMA suspends scheduled Aug 6 withdrawal of outpatient services
Source: Ghana| |Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: 05-08-2018 Time: 06:08:38:pm

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has set aside a roadmap it adopted that could lead to the withdrawal of outpatient services by August 6.

President of the Association, Dr Frank Ankobea, told Joy News they have decided to suspend the scheduled withdrawal of service in order to conclude negotiations with government.

"Government has engaged us and seeing the good faith they have started, negotiations are ongoing. We thought that it will be in the interest of all of us to suspend our action and see what follows next," he said.

Doctors have threatened to withdraw outpatient services at public health facilities from Monday, August 6, 2018, unless government resolves outstanding emolument issues.

Members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) say if after the withdrawal of outpatient services, the government still fails to meet their demands, they will be forced to withdraw emergency services from August 20, 2018.

This stern warning was contained in a communiqué issued by the Association after its 4th National Executive Council meeting held in Jirapa in the Upper West Region from July 27 to 28, 2018.

Related: Doctors threaten strike; give govt ‘one-week window’ to resolve emolument issues

Top on the grievance list of the country’s doctors, contained in the press release is what they say is reduced pension benefits following their migration onto the Single Spine Pay Policy, with the conversion difference unpaid since December 2011.

GMA stated that in November 2017 it gave the government up to the end of April 2018 to honour its obligation towards members of the Association following a compulsory arbitration by the National Labour Commission, however, the government failed to deliver on its part of the bargain.

But there has been some progress as Dr Ankobea told Joy News, "a lot of people have spoken about us so we felt that where we have gotten to in negotiation, we should be mindful of what Ghanaians will encounter if we should go ahead and suspend our services."  

He said the coming days, coming weeks and coming months will tell what their next line of action will be. 

Kwaku Agyemang Manu@ Vetting 2017

Photo: Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu