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General News of Friday, 5 March 2010

Source: GNA

Doctor's call for duty facilitated allowance

Accra, March 5, GNA - The National Executive Council of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on Friday asked government to commence the payment of the On-Call Duty Facilitation Allowances by March or it will advice itself. In a statement signed by Dr. Emmanuel Adom Winful, President and Dr. Frank Serebour, Assistant General Secretary of GMA, it said a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Health and the Association to end issues on the conditions of service affecting Doctors and Dentists. The statement said it was agreed that 10 per cent of the basic salaries of doctors including house officers should be paid to members as "on -call duty facilitation allowance" effective January 2009. It said, "In this MOU it was agreed that effective January 2009, 10 per cent of the basic salaries of doctors, (including House officers) shall be paid to members as On-Call duty facilitation allowance". According to the statement, the agreement had not been fulfilled and doctors living in government accommodation continued to pay 10 per cent of their basic salaries as rent while those living in private accommodation have not received this percentage of on -call duty allowance. It expressed regret that meetings with the Ministry of Health had so far not yielded any positive results even though the matter was referred to the National Labour Commission. The statement said the National Executive Committee had asked members of the Association to standby for further directions adding that the fall out of any options should be blamed on the Ministry of Health not the GMA. In another development, the Association expressed concern about the remuneration of retired doctors and dentists describing it as a "sad and serious issue". The Statement said since 2006, all health workers were moved from the Ghana Universal Salary Structure (GUSS) to the Health Service Salary Structure, but the retired doctors continue to draw their pension based on the GUSS, which has led some of them to live as paupers. It said the current generation of doctors and dentists look upon the conditions of "these retired colleagues as a mirror image of theirs in the future" and many are not motivated to commit their lives to the services of the country and the best of their ability. 5 March 10