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General News of Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Source: GNA

Doctors’ migration unto SSSS creates more distortions

Accra, 19 Jan, GNA - The migration of doctors and other health professionals in the country unto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) has created distortions and problem, resulting in reduction of salaries of doctors, which they have expressed serious concerns about.

The migration, which was implemented in December last year, has made the doctors to receive lower salaries than what they were previously earning, and this might result in another battle between the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) early this year.

Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, President of the GNA, who said these in an interview with the Ghana News Agency GNA) in Accra on Wednesday, said apart from the reduction in salaries, the issue concerning grades of district directors of Health Services and Medical Superintendents, has still not be resolved.

He explained that when though the National Labour Commission (NLC) had ruled after the compulsory arbitration meeting that the matter should be resolved by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service Council since the NLC had no jurisdiction on this matter, letters written to the Council have received no response.

The doctors, in October last year, staged a 14 day nationwide strike over distortions in their migration onto the SSSS and other concerns raised, were the inability of the FWSC to provide unequivocal evidence of migration of doctors onto the SSSS and the ambiguous stance of the SSS Secretariat on the positions of District Directors of Health Service and Medical Superintendents.

The inability of the GMA and the FWSC to agree to solve the natter compelled the FWSC to refer it to NLC to apply the compulsory arbitration as provided for under Section 162 of the Labour Act to resolve the dispute, which gave the ruling that Controller and Accountant-General should pay the doctors whilst the other districts and medical superintendents should be settled by the Ghana Health Service Council.

Dr Opku Adusei expressed concern about government paying salaries early, and said that would not help alleviate the sufferings of workers but it would rather compound their numerous financial problems.

He suggested that Government rather increase salaries and also ensure that the concerns of the medical doctors were resolved.

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