General News Wed, 20 May 2009

Doctors say no concrete solution to demands

Accra, May 20, GNA - Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Frank Serebour, on Wednesday said Tuesday's meeting between Deputy Health Minister, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, and the leadership of the association to find an amicable solution to their demands for higher salaries did not yield any concrete solution. He said no date had been fixed for the next meeting but they were ready to go to the negotiation table whenever they were invited. Dr Serebour said the work-to-rule action now in its third day would continue and they would not relent in their actions until their demands were met.

He said the six per cent salary increase proposed by government was unacceptable noting that the 50 per cent they were demanding was in the right direction given that their purchasing power had depreciated by 44 per cent since 2006.

He said assuming that government gave them the 44 per cent, it would mean that there had been no increase since 2006. Dr Serebour noted that if the economy could support ex-gratia for politicians then it should be in the position to support their demands. On claims by some hospitals that they had not received any letter from the GMA that doctors would work to rule, he expressed surprise and noted that all government hospitals had duly been served with that letter.

Asked why some doctors did not leave the hospitals after 1700 hours he explained that there was no way doctors who were in the middle of a surgery or seeing a patient would leave the hospital at exactly 1700 hours.


This, the Deputy General Secretary explained, was the reason some are seen working a few hours after 1700 hours. The GMA over the weekend said the position of the National Executive Council affected all doctors nationwide and not just junior doctors, noting that "we fully support the adoption of measures to bring some closure to these thorny issues".

The statement noted that since 2006 salaries of doctors had not been reviewed despite several attempts to get these issues resolved. The statement further explained that negotiations had stalled since the last meeting held on Tuesday, May 12, without any consensus on either the salary review or conditions of service.

Source: GNA