General News Fri, 6 Oct 2000

Junior Doctors Down Tools

Junior doctors at Ghana's biggest hospital, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Friday withdrew their services because of non-payment of their extra-duty allowance for July and August.

Spokesman Samuel Seidu said the doctors would only attend to patients already on admission, but new cases would not be admitted.

He said although some of the doctors had been paid their allowances for July, this would not convince them to go back to work.

"We asked for July and August and not July alone, therefore, we will continue with the strike action until the last (amount) due us is paid."

The doctors on Tuesday threatened to withdraw their services by the close of work Thursday if the allowances for the two months were not paid.

Seidu noted that payment of additional duty allowance for doctors has run into difficulties since its introduction and it is time to solve the problem once and for all.

But Henry Holdbrook-Smith, Chief Executive of the hospital, appealed to the doctors to resume work as efforts were being made to pay them.

Meanwhile, the Greater Accra division of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has endorsed the strike.

It resolved at an emergency meeting Thursday that its members should withdraw their services by the close of work Friday until their allowances for July and August are paid, a statement signed by Dr. A. Nyander, chairman of the division said.

The statement also warned that henceforth, GMA members would down tools without notification if their allowances were not paid by the 20th of every month.

Source: Panafrican News Agency