The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says it is ready to push government for appropriate conditions of service for Doctors.
The Association disclosed that the only benefit they currently enjoy is free one week mortuary service when one dies; a situation they described as unfair.
“Doctors in this country don’t have any perks. At best, what we have, even though it is not written, is the fact that we are entitled to one week free mortuary services when you pass on in the course of service. That is all. We want the proper thing done!” said the GMA’s Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Justice Yankson on Eyewitness News.
Doctors in Ghana are threatening to resign by June 30, 2015 if the government fails to issue a collective bargaining agreement with them over their conditions of service.
However, there are media reports that the GMA had decided to rescind its decision after meeting with government representatives over the matter on Wednesday.
But the Association says no such decision has been taken as it still stands by its ultimatum.
“I am not sure where this information is coming from. We have never departed from our position…the fact that we’ve held one meeting does not negate the fact that that ultimatum has been met as we speak…that ultimatum still stands and nothing has changed,” Dr. Yankson remarked.
He indicated that they are willing to continue with the negotiations with government to get the matter resolved, but stressed that the meeting on Wednesday “doesn’t change our stance because we’ve been through this path before.”
Dr. Yankson recalled that since the Ghana Health Service was established somewhere in 1996, no conditions of service have been given to doctors although concerns have been raised several times.
“We’ve had series of committees, series of meetings in a bid to resolve this matter for almost 20 years and nothing has happened. That one meeting we’ve had doesn’t resolve the issue…that ultimatum still stands.”
He argued that giving doctors conditions of service will not in any way impact negatively on the economy since conditions of service do not necessarily have to be monetary.
Dr. Yankson asked; “Others have conditions of service and that is not a drain on the government coffers? Including the Executive, the Judiciary and the Parliamentary service but when doctors ask for that they be given their conditions of service to enable us work properly; something that is not entirely linked with money per say, is that what will collapse the economy of Ghana?”