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General News of Saturday, 18 May 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

‘Return to work and expect a board soon’ – Health Minister to Allied health professionals

The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu says his ministry is working to constitute a board for the Allied Health Professionals.

Health professionals earlier this week begun a strike action to press home their demands for the immediate constitution of a board.

But addressing the press in Accra, Mr. Manu pleaded with the health professionals to return to work and expect a response soon.

“We’re engaging them [health professionals]. When this thing happens and you are engaging them, it becomes difficult. We engaged the Medical Superintendent and those in charge of the facilities to ensure that services are provided. As we engaged them, we believe this will not prolong. I have spoken to the council of state chair who has assured them that, he is working on it so they should exercise restraint. I don’t see the need for strike action because we are engaging them. But these things will soon be resolved so that the strike will not have an impact on health delivery. ”

But, the allied health professionals say they are not ready to call off their strike as they have not been invited to engage with the Health Ministry.

Ignatius Awinibuno is Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the Ghana Federation of Allied Health professionals.

“We have not had any indications from the Ministry. We just got an invitation from the minority select committee on health to meet and discuss the issues to them. Nobody is going to work. All the committees are not functioning. These are supposed to be in placed. Does the minister want to do all these on his own and approve every expenditure which is the responsibility of the board? Why is he enjoying the role of a board for well over three years. The Ministry has not invited us,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minority caucus on Parliament’s Health Committee has also asked the Health Minister to take immediate steps to address concerns raised by the Ghana Federation of Allied Health Professionals.

It follows a meeting in parliament on Friday between the Caucus and the Federation, where the group’s concerns were tabled and discussed.

The Federation is currently on a sit-down strike over the non-constitution of the governing board for allied health professions as well as their exclusion from discussions on a new amendment bill for teaching hospitals in parliament.