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Opinions of Thursday, 20 October 2011

Columnist: Ashiagbor, Kwaku Kele

The Ghanaian Condition(Part 24

) THE STRIKING DOCTORS----MATTERS ARISING.

The more one looks at the merits and de-merits of the current strike by the Ghana Medical Association, the more one comes to the sad realization that there is something intrinsically wrong with our society.

Whilst not holding brief for the Government ( I feel they could have presented their case better to the public) the posturing, a radical and uncompromising stand taken by the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association have done their course no good whatsoever but has rather lost them public support and sympathy. I simply cannot believe the press statement attributed to the President of the Ghana Medical Association Dr.Emmanuel .Adom Winful that, quote: ‘People die anyway and so if the Doctors’ strike results in deaths, there is nothing wrong with that-unquote.

The maverick Mr Kofi Wayo keeps reminding us that ‘Some of our African Leaders are savages who have no feelings or sympathy for their fellow human beings and I used to think he was way way over the top. The likes of Dr.Emmanuel Adom Winful have proved Mr. Kofi Wayo to be an honest speaker of the truth. How on earth could a medically trained and responsible person advised his colleagues not to even attend EMERGENCY MEDICAL CASES however justifiable their case may be. I am not so sure if Dr.Winful and his leadership understands the import of the Hippocratic Oath that they undertook.

Yes, in the long run you will get your wads of cedis to line your pockets but a life lost will never be brought back----think about this.

As a matter of fact, one life lost through this strike, is one life too many. Whilst the Doctors are not behaving ethically right,the Government does not come out smelling roses either. To say the least, the Government’s spokesmen particularly the Ministries of Information and Communications are grossly inept in their handling of this sordid affairs.

They keep coming out with conflicting news which keep confusing the public. They could have simply come out with the factual details of what and how much the Doctors were being offered and let the public judge who is being honest and fair and who is not.

It seems to me that the Government does not realize that all Public servants are paid by the tax payers and that the tax payer has the right to know who gets what. Salaries and wages in the Ghanaian Public Sector is so much shrouded in secrecy to the extent that we do not know how much our President, Vice, Ministers, Deputies, MPS and others on the Civil List get.

Even in the U.K and U.S.A you can easily find out how much their Prime Minister and President earn respectively. Why is our Society full of so much secrecy? To buttress my case one of the Dailies have come out in their print that what the Doctors are rejecting is a minimum increase of GHc630.00($420) and a maximum of GHc1,300 ($866.00)per month.

As I do not know the basic salaries of the various grades of Doctors I am in no position to speculate. This notwithstanding, it will do both the Government and the Ghana Medical Association to come out boldly and tell Joe Public what the true state of affairs is, if either side believes in the just cause of their actions and have nothing to hide.

Let truth prevail, let equity and fair play prevail and above all, let the paying public be treated with dignity and the respect that the sick and dying deserve.

In the long run, it will be in the best interest of this country that ALL ESSENTIAL SERVICE WORKERS ARE BOUND FROM GOING ON STRIKE. We cannot allow the status quo to continue ad infinitum.

KWAKU. KELE.ASHIAGBOR