Junior Doctors give ultimatum
Accra (Greater Accra) 15 April ?99
Junior doctors at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital have given government up to Tuesday, April 20 to pay their overtime allowance for March or they will down their tools again.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Dr George B. Kyei, Spokesman for the doctors also gave government up to May ending to pay their allowances through the banks instead of at the facility level.
The conference, which was held after a long meeting, was attended by the Medical Director of the Hospital and some senior doctors and consultants.
It was to address pertinent issues following the failure of the Ministry of Health to pay doctors their additional duty allowance for March.
Junior Doctors, in the nation's hospitals, embarked on a strike action last December, to back their demands for better remuneration and condition of service.
Following their action, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the government, the Ghana Medical Association in which government agreed to pay additional duty allowances to all doctors and dentists in public health institutions.
The Ministry was also to put in place the necessary facilities and mechanisms to ensure that doctors in institutions like the polyclinics cover their hospitals/clinics for 24 hours where the number of doctors are adequate for such schedules
However, Dr Kyei said the Ministry has been dragging its feet on the issue of regularlisation of the payment of the allowance through the banks with the excuse that it wants to weed out ghost names.
Reacting to the Minister of Health's, statement on Tuesday that the doctors were interested in holding their patients to ransom and intimidating them with strike actions, Dr Kyei said "What we are doing may not be pleasant now but it is for the long term good of this nation".
"It is important to address this problem of poor conditions of service for doctors once and for all.
"We wish to conclude that if government is really committed to keeping doctors in this country by stopping the on-going exodus, then the authorities concerned should stop subjecting us to these avoidable hardships", Dr Kyei said.