The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), mother body of doctors in Ghana, has indicated that it will soon withdraw its services in the various government hospitals over the failure of government to address issues relating to conditions of service of its members.
The health professionals gave the indication in a communiqué following their 61st annual general conference in Tamale.
It has issued the government with a week’s ultimatum to sign the agreed Conditions of Service Document for Medical Doctors/Dentists working with the Ministry of Health and its agencies or risk having them withdraw their services systematically.
“A one-week window is hereby offered Government (MoH) that is, if by 1800 hours GMT on 17th November, 2019, the Conditions of Service Document for Medical Doctors/Dentists working with the Ministry of Health and its agencies has not been signed off for implementation effective 1st January 2020, the following set of activities shall kick start:
a. Effective Monday, 18th November 2019, all Medical Doctors/Dentists working in the public sector shall withdraw Outpatient Department (OPD) Services. This would continue till Sunday, 1st December 2019.
b. From Monday 2nd December 2019 to Sunday 8th December 2019 emergency services shall be withdrawn.
c. From Monday, 9th December 2019 all services shall be totally withdrawn.”
The Ghana Medical Association in July 2015 embarked on a 3-week strike over the absence of a codified conditions of service.
They were demanding a signed document detailing a number of entitlements to be given to them as part of their conditions of service.
Part of their demands included 40% of basic salaries as accommodation allowance per month, 20 percent as core duty facilitation allowance, 30% clothing allowance, 20% maintenance allowance, 20% utility allowance, 50% as professional allowance and 25% special risk allowance and vehicle tax exemption to doctors.
They called off the strike to return to the negotiation table after several appeals from many Ghanaians including members of the clergy.