The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says the intended strike action by its members will only be called off if the government and the Health Ministry play their part in meeting their demands before the given deadline.
The Association had earlier served notice that doctors in the country will embark on strike if the government fails to immediately implement their signed Conditions of Service.
An internal memo sighted by Citi News directed all members to withdraw their services in all facilities if the government fails to meet their demands by January 29, 2020.
“The Association has accordingly given the government up to Saturday, 29th February 2020 to ensure full implementation (including payment of all occasioned arrears) of the CoS document at both the National and facility levels. If any default on the part of Government occurs Vis-à-vis the stated deadline, there shall be immediate withdrawal of all services by members in all facilities,” the memo warned.
Reiterating this decision on Eyewitness News on Monday, the General Secretary of GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson stated that whatever decision to be made by the Association will be based on the employers’ actions so they must speed up the processes to meet their demands before Saturday.
“It’s up to the employer to ensure that come that day, all of it [the codified conditions of service]has been implemented as agreed. Because we gave the government ample time to foster all these things into the budgetary arrangement and what have you. So moving forward, we don’t want any further delays in this activity. So it’s up to the employer to ensure that come the end of this month, whatever arrears that ought to go to our medical doctors are paid to them because they are already discussing their bit of the budget. We expect that from Tuesday, we have a couple of meetings but it will all depend on the employer,” he said.
Previous strikes actions
The Ghana Medical Association in July 2015 embarked on a 3-week strike over the absence of a codified condition of service.
They were demanding a signed document detailing a number of entitlements to be given to them as part of their conditions of service.
They called off the strike to return to the negotiation table after several appeals from many Ghanaians including members of the clergy.
A similar incident happened in 2018, where they called off a planned strike action because the government agreed to address their issues.
In a circular to its members, the doctors said “government has also agreed to give a detailed directive to all agencies and facilities to implement all the other aspects of the conditions of service that falls within their remit. Following the agreement, the road map issued at Jirapa on Saturday, July 28, 2018, has been duly suspended by the National Executive Council (NEC).”
In 2019, the Ghana Medical Association also threatened to withdraw its services over the failure of the government to put into effect the agreed conditions of service of its members.
A one-week ultimatum was issued to the government to sign the agreed Conditions of Service Document for Medical Doctors/Dentists working with the Ministry of Health and its agencies or risk having them withdraw their services gradually.