A Clinical Surgeon has has disagreed with the notion that striking doctors are insensitive to the plight of sick and dying Ghanaians as more than 500 people die as a result of the continued strike by medical doctors.
Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Former Chief Executive Officer of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, is “disheartened at government’s seeming lackadaisical attitude towards resolving the impasse between it and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA)”. The stalemate between government and the striking doctors has been attributed to the entrenched positions by both government and the Ghana Medical Association, among others, a situation Dr. Nsiah-Asare blames on “the ill-service governments have paid to the welfare and professional integrity of medical workers over the years “
The Clinical Surgeon was speaking in an interview on Asankrangwa based Royal 89.3 FM on what a section of Ghanaians see as striking Doctors’ insensitivity to their plight due to the continuous neglect of dying patients at the country’s public health facilities. Though he sees no wrong in the disparities in the pay structure of health workers, Dr. Nsiah-Asare believes that government can pay for the remaining unnamed eight items being demanded by doctors as part of their conditions of service.
“Doctors in Israel recently embarked on a five-month industrial action to press home their demands for better service conditions and though I am not justifying the current strike of the GMA, I feel that the situation could be resolved in two days if government reconstitutes its negotiation team and shut the mouth of the non-professionals who are talking on its behalf, whose utterances are rather aggravating the already dangerous situation of medical delivery in the country”, Dr. Nsiah Asare opined.
Government has pulled out of the talks with the Ghana Medical Association over their conditions of service because the ‘doctors are on an illegal strike’. The doctors have emphasized until they have a signed and sealed condition of service document, they will not return to the wards and theatres.
Labour relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu is however not giving any indication of an early resolution of the impasse. “In so long as they remain on strike, boycotting work, whether partial or or not, it puts us in a difficulty in negotiating”, he maintains.