We don’t take delight in strikes – Ghana Medical Association

Dr Serebour insists the strike will only be called off should government heed to their demands

Dr Frank Serebour, Vice-President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), has said doctors do not take pleasure in using strikes as a bargaining tool.

According to him, although they are aware of the adverse effects of their industrial action, they have no option than to resort to same since government has failed to listen to their concerns.

Doctors in the country have threatened an indefinite strike, effective Monday, 6 August 2018, until a list of their demands are met by government.

All doctors in the public sector will withdraw their outpatient services until August 19 and heighten the industrial action by withdrawing emergency services from 20 August until 27 August when they declare a full-blown strike if their demands are still not met.

The GMA arrived at this decision at their 4th National Executive Council meeting held at Jirapa in the Upper West Region from 27 – 28 July 2018.

According to the GMA, the issue of doctors having suffered reduced pensions following their migration onto the single spine pay policy; and non-payment of conversion differences, is still outstanding since December 2011, in spite of the NLC’s compulsory arbitration award which binds both parties and subsequent directive from the NLC to government to correct same.

The GMA also accused government of not fully implementing their condition of service document signed in October 2015.

The Association also bemoaned the “inequitable distribution of critical healthcare staff which has resulted in most deprived communities not receiving the desired standard of care.”

They are calling on government to consider the incentive packages recommended by the GMA at its Annual General Conference held in Tamale in November 2010.

Speaking on Ghana Yensom hosted by Chief Jerry Forson on Accra 100.5FM on Monday, 30 July, Dr Serebuor said: “It is not as if we take delight in fighting for a better condition of service, we don’t take delight in strike at all but the situation demands that we do this to achieve our purpose.”

He added: “We don’t sit and say we are just thinking about ourselves, we think of Ghanaians and at the same time we also think about ourselves, we are also workers who are entitled to certain benefits.”

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