General News of Thursday, 7 August 2014
The call by doctors for insurance cover in the wake of the deadly Ebola epidemic is in order a member of the Ghana Medical Association has said.
Dr Frank Serebour, General Secretary of the GMA said doctors at the moment have "no condition of service" or insurance cover.
At best the only insurance they have is a "free mortuary service" when they die, he confirmed, a situation he described as unacceptable.
He told Joy News the Hippocratic oath sworn by doctors is "not an oath for poverty" and that doctors have every right to fight for better conditions of service even if they have sworn the oath.
His comments follow a barrage of public criticisms against doctors for daring to demand insurance cover and risk allowance for members who would be fighting the Ebola virus at first hand.
The Director of Public Health at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Philip Amoo who is leading the campaign for the insurance cover and risk allowance told Joy News their demand is as the result of the risk they are likely to face in treating Ebola cases.
The doctors and all other health workers are under high risk of being infected by the virus as a result of their proximity with patients suffering the Ebola virus.
They believe an insurance cover will be an extra incentive for the doctors to sacrifice their lives in the fight against the scourge.
While dismissing the call for a risk allowance, Dr Serebour told Joy News' Evans Mensah the demand for an insurance cover is in order.
He said the risk allowance has already being catered for but they have no form of insurance except the assurance of a free mortuary service when they die.
He charged the doctors to take personal precautions so as not to contract the virus and charged the health workers to treat every case as though it was Ebola.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health, Tony Goodman said the ministry is considering calls for the demand of insurance for the health workers who will be at the frontline of fighting the canker.
The deadly Ebola virus has claimed over 900 lives in West Africa alone, with Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria all suffering casualties.