GMA threatens strike in April 2017 over conditions of service implementation

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has issued a four month ultimatum to government to fully implement the 2015 conditions of service document or see medical doctors across the country begin a series of industrial actions which will upset healthcare in the country.

Government is also to resolve issues concerning conversion differences and reduced pensions on the pay scheme of medical doctors within the same period to avert same.

Speaking to the media in Kumasi shortly after his election, the New President of the GMA Dr Frank Ankobea noted with concerns that the provisions in the conditions of service document has not been fully implemented two years down the line.

He added that government had also unilaterally reviewed a market premium paid doctors as proxy for extra hours from being calculated as a percentage on their basic pay to a fixed amount contrary to a ruling of the National Labour Commission (NLC).

He declared that the association is resolved to begin a series of industrial actions beginning April 30, 2017 if government continues to drag its feet in giving them their due.

“The GMA therefore decides that if all the issues of full implementation of conditions of service and market premiums together with the related matters of conversion difference and reduced pensions, are not dealt with by the government immediately, the GMA by 18:00 GMT, April 30, 2018 will begin a series of activities that will definitely affect the current industrial climate,” he said.

Meanwhile, earlier in a speech read on his behalf by the Otumfuo Mawerehene Baffour Osei Hyiaman Bretuo at the 59th Annual and Scientific General Meeting of the GMA, the Otumfuo warned government not to incur another labour action from the doctors by refusing to fully implement the conditions of service for doctors.

“I am reliably informed that doctors signed a condition of service document with government two years ago; however two years into the operation of the document, government is dragging its feet in ensuring the full implementation. In as much as I don’t want to hear a Kumasi declaration by the doctors after this conference, I am using this opportunity to call on the ministry of health and for that matter government  to ensure the speedy and immediate, full implementation of the conditions of service document,” The Otumffuo sternly demanded.

He also charged the ministry of health to “pay attention to the general working conditions of doctors including the hospitals and clinics in which they work.”

By: Ghana/ Heathcote-Fumador