The mass resignation threatened by the errant medical doctors last Friday, became a mirage as they rather extended their illegal strike action by two more weeks to await government’s action on their outrageous conditions of service, which include medical treatment abroad.
The fiasco, has incurred peoples’ wrath with many private citizens calling their bluff saying, they were afraid of being jobless and going hungry. Others openly sent text message to radio stations telling the doctors to return to the ward to avoid needless deaths, while still negotiating with government.
Meanwhile, there are doubts as to the number of doctors who attended last Friday’s Extra-Ordinary General Meeting in the Korle-Bu office of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in Accra.
Claims are that the meeting was poorly attended and only three individuals namely, Dr. Kwabena Poku-Adusei and Dr. Frank Serebour, the GMA General Secretary and the GMA Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Justice Yankson decided on the extension of the strike action, which has led to the loss of
lives and permanent impairment of many people.
The meeting was to be held in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, however, it rather came off in Korle-Bu in Accra.
A one-page document issued from the Korle-Bu GMA office last Friday, claimed that the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting decided “to continue with In-Patient care… and continue to with the withdrawal Out-Patient Department and Emergency Services”.
The press statement signed by Dr. Poku-Adusei and Dr. Frank Serebour, the GMA General Secretary added, “we have reached this decision based on the fact that government has not shown enough good faith regarding negotiation for Conditions of Service for doctors in the public sector”.
It started with a “speed of light” denial of a resignation letter in circulation on social media attributed to the President of the GMA, Dr. K Opoku-Adusei.
Portions of the letter said: “After careful thought and consideration, I have concluded that my core values are not aligned with the organisational culture at the Ghana health service.
“It is time to move on to maintain my dignity and overall happiness. This letter is to officially inform you that I have abdicated my position as medical doctor”.
But speaking on the letter on Starr FM last Friday, Dr. Poku-Adusei, said he has not written any such letter.
“I have not written any letter to that effect. If I decide to resign, I will address my letter to the director general of the Ghana health service who employed me.
“I have also seen the said letter circulating on social media but I will like to say that it is not true,” he said.
The GMA President, also on Peace FM, debunked claims that he has resigned from post.
Speaking in an interview with host Kwami Sefa Kayi, Dr. Poku-Adusei, stated emphatically that he remains at post and has not tendered any resignation letter.
According to him, the rumours and reports that he’s resigned following governments’ refusal to concede to the demands of the members of the Association after they went on strike, are intended to stir the nation.
“It’s not true. There’s no truth in it. Now, several tricks are in the world and they want to bring confusion. I haven’t resigned. You are now telling me; I haven’t heard. It’s not true,” he told Kwami Sefa Kayi.
Labour Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, has meanwhile revealed that government has presented a new conditions of service proposal to the striking members of the GMA.
According to him, it is the view of government that, the new terms will be favorable to the two parties involved in the negotiations.
The former Trades Minister, also dismissed claims that negotiations have broken down between the parties.
Speaking on Joy FM’s news and current affairs programme ‘News File’ on Saturday, Mr. Iddrisu, said government was still open to further discussions with the GMA.
“We haven’t reached a deadlock. We are still negotiating with them. In fact yesterday (Friday) we met them before their meeting.
“I can confirm that we have indeed withdrawn the initial proposal to them and have replaced it with a new one which we believe will be favorable to both parties,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Former President, John Agyekum Kufuor, has joined calls on striking doctors to call off their strike and return to the negotiating table.
President Kufuor, said the doctors stand a better chance of having their grievances addressed when they call off their strike.
The former President was speaking at the University of Education, Winneba in the Central Region, after he was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree by the university.
“For the ultimate humanitarian considerations of the suffering masses of the people of Ghana, and with their [doctors’] case already so strongly made, I appeal to them to restrain themselves from taking the final step of irreparable damage to the nation…the strike should be cut off. The nation I believe will not forget this informed compromise”, he appealed to the members of the GMA.
He asked government to reach out and dialogue with the GMA “with evident concern, transparency, decorum and spirit of conciliation”.
He charged both parties – Government and GMA – to allow cool heads to prevail in order to save precious lives.
The strike by the GMA means that private, military and police hospitals across the country, are battling with increased patient numbers, amid scarce facilities for at least two more weeks.
Source: The Herald
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