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Opinions of Thursday, 20 August 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

Government must do more to end doctors' strike


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Listening to a former President of the Junior Doctors’ Association, one Dr. Abdallah yesterday, we can only say that government must adopt a more efficient means of disentangling the knot that is the doctors’ industrial action.

There is a deep gulf between the two parties, one which must be narrowed before any meaningful headway can be made in the quest for a resolution to the impasse.

Not returning to the negotiation table and the intransigent posture of government cannot yield any positive dividend, the repercussions of which are far-reaching.

The doctor alluded to the poor quality advice given the president by his various aides – a view we subscribe to. This is evidenced by the constant failure to make headway over the negotiation table each time they meet.

What sense is there for instance, in importing Cuban doctors when the money being spent on the ambitious project costs more than government expends on their local counterparts, and when opportunities for negotiations are not totally exhausted?

We can only conclude that this is a position taken on the spur of the moment and whose objective is to call the bluff of the striking doctors and simultaneously spite them.

The president’s advisers must rethink the notes they give their boss. The path he is following, if it is informed by what they have served him, is glaringly unproductive and therefore bound to fail.

Dr. Abdallah pointed at a burgeoning divide and rule tactics being pursued by government of late as seen in the untruths about a parallel association of doctors.

The heavy dose of propaganda, for want of a better substitute for lies contained in the quest for an amicable resolution of the impasse has so far been retrogressive.

Why would a section of the media be engaged to churn out untruths about for instance, details of the outcome of the voting by the doctors on the strike?

Credible information has it that there is no crack in the association as being peddled in a section of the media by two doctors who the former president of the GMA claimed are dormant practitioners not associated with any public service practice. These are the doctors being used in the divide and rule project of the government.

At a time when elders of society are needed to calm tempers, a few of them, including General Nunoo-Mensah (rtd), are up and about dabbling into any subject that comes their way.

Dr. Abdallah obviously articulating the views of his colleagues, somewhat found General Nunoo-Mensah’s remarks that if doctors want money they better go and play soccer, inflammatory and in bad faith.

His often belligerent remarks on national issues rob him of the qualification to give good quality counsel to the president. Now we are close to knowing why the president subtly dispensed of his services as National Security Advisor.

It is instructive as Dr. Abdallah pointed out, the old General’s son, a surgeon, has never served Ghana, preferring to chase good life abroad. He was in the UK, he recalled, leaving the place later for greener pastures; in Dubai.

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