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General News Thu, 31 Jan 2013

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GMA to withdraw all Outpatient Services from February 11

Doctors in the public sector will from Monday February 11, withdraw all out-patient clinical services and only attend to emergencies and in-patients.

Directed by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) at the end of its 1st National Executive Council, the withdrawal of service will last till Sunday February 17.

A statement issued by Dr Frank Serebour, General Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said doctors from Monday February 18, stop all services including emergency care as well as in-patient care until further notice.

Meanwhile, the GMA will be holding series of divisional meetings from January 25 to Friday February 8, and the public would be briefed on the outcome.

“All doctors are therefore advised to go by this directive from the National Executive Council of the GMA and continue to attend divisional meetings to receive updates,” the statement said.

It explained that the decision was taken after all the series of meetings, consultations and correspondents with stakeholders like the National Labor Commission (NLC), Ministry of Health, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission following the award on the November 4, 2011 in the matter of migration of Doctors onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

“We will like to state that we have availed ourselves to all processes as required by law thus far and still no end to the issues.”

Following the migration of doctors onto the SSSS in December 2011 with retrospective effect from January 2010, the payment of market premium with regard to 2010 was duly paid based on 2010 basic salary and same for 2011.

The payment of salaries of doctors in December 2011 came with a Conversion Difference consistent with the provision of the Labour Act 2003, Act 651 and the white paper governing the implementation of the SSSS.

However, in January 2012, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the FWSC unilaterally decided to suspend and subsequently recover payments of conversion difference to doctors and other health professionals resulting in reduced pension contributions. This step was clearly in contravention of the ILO Convention, the Labour Act 2003 and the Government white paper on SSSS implementation.

The Market Premium which has always been a percentage of the basic salary was unilaterally made an absolute figure in 2012 and not based on 2012 basic salary. This was clearly against the ruling of the NLC on November 4, 2011, the statement said.

The statement cataloged all correspondents made over the period in an attempt to resolve the matter and said "all have not yielded any positive results but rather been treated with contempt".

Source: GNA

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