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General News of Monday, 26 May 2008

Source: GNA

Govt "playing hide and seek" -Doctors

... Threaten Strike
Accra, May 26, GNA - The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) warned on Monday that it was being pushed to resort to industrial action to press for better salary and other employment issues and blamed the Ministry of Health for the situation.

A GMA press statement signed by Dr E. Adom WInful, President, and Dr Sodzi Sodzi-Tetty, General Secretary, at the end of its Third National Executive Council Meeting at Sogakope, said members of the Association had followed due process and laid down procedures in conformity with the letter and spirit of the labour laws, but their grievances had not been attended to.

The GMA said the salaries of doctors and dentists had not been reviewed for over two years, adding that, the government had been playing "hide and seek" with them.

It said despite numerous efforts by the GMA through respective dialogue meetings, communiqu=E9s, both formal and informal discussions with relevant members of government, including the Ministers of Health, Finance and Economic Planning, key officers in the office of the President, the National Labour Commission and President John Agyekum Kufuor, government had still refused to review and increase their salaries.

It said the Government, represented by the Ministry of Health had continued to avoid the Association and had been deliberately refusing to conclude discussions and sign a finalized Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which has been jointly prepared, reviewed and agreed upon by the GMA and the Ministry of Health which would bring to rest this issue of salary review and other major employment issues between the membership of GMA and government.

The statement said the National Executive Council (NEC) recognised and acknowledged the challenges of the economic situation in Ghana as it affected the livelihood of Ghanaians, including doctors and dentists. However, it said, the GMA expected that government, as the major employer of its members, would fulfil its responsibility in line with the labour law of Ghana to GMA members, by similarly increasing their salaries.

"The membership of GMA has reached the end of their tether and is being pushed to exercise their rights to resort to industrial action and the Ghanaian public should hold government responsible for the consequences emanating from any industrial action, since government has shown itself not to respect past decisions and commitments made through dialogue," the GMA said.

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