Health News Mon, 8 Jun 2015

Cape Coast Junior doctors consider suing government

Junior doctors at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital are contemplating going to court to seek an order to compel government to pay them their 9-months salary arrears.

Confirming this to Citi News a spokesperson for the Junior House officers at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Dr. Nana Kissi Ataffuah said the move is necessary to get government to act.

Junior doctors across the country about two weeks ago embarked on a strike over their unpaid salaries, but the house officers at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi resumed work last week after receiving firm assurance that their salaries would be paid.

However, house officers at the Cape coast teaching hospital are still on strike.

In an interview with Citi News, Dr. Attafuah said the doctors will only ask for what is due them in a legal suit, expressing the hope that government would heed their call. “We are looking at other options; we are just hoping that the government will only listen to us.

We are also looking at the legal option, if we would have to take the government to court and ask the court to compel them to pay us our due,” he said.

Dr Attafuah explained that “we are not even asking them [government] to pay us for the damages for the stress that we have encountered during these period of working nine months without salaries. All what we are saying is that just pay us the little that we deserve.”

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi has reportedly paid its house officers out of its Internally Generated Fund (IGF) with the assurance that government would reimburse them, and this has resulted in house officers at KATH resuming work last week.

But, the acting Chief Executive of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH), Dr. Daniel Asare in an interview with Citi News says the hospital does not have enough IGF to pay striking house officers in lieu of payment by government.

Dr. Asare noted that his outfit is unable to pay the house officers because the National Health Insurance Authority owes them millions of cedis, which has crippled their finances.

“We are not in the position to use our IGF, because our IGF, 20% comes from the National Health Insurance Authority and we have not been paid. We have only been paid last year November and December, October is still outstanding, and we have January, February, March, April, and that is around GH¢3 million.”

He lamented that “We don’t have it so we can’t pay them and what we have now is not even sufficient to run the hospital.”

Dr Asare further urged the junior doctors to remain calm explaining that others including “nurses, health service administrators, pharmacists have not also been paid.”

Source: citifmonline.com