GMA to Gov’t: ‘We don’t want any surprises in 2016’
The Ghana Medical Association is warning government to honor its promise of implementing conditions of service agreed in October after four months of painstaking negotiations.
Signalling the lingering distrust, Deputy General Secretary of the Association Dr Justice Yankson told JoyNews’ Francis Abban; “There have been so many instances in this country where professionals have signed documents with the employer and when it gets to implementation, it becomes a problem”.
To protest the absence of the conditions of service, the GMA, over the course of three weeks, first withdrew services to Out-Patient Department at the end of July followed by a withdrawal of emergency services.
It took two ex-presidents- Jerry Rawlings and John Kufuor- as well as the Asantehene, the clergy and repeated assurances from government before doctors returned to work after the crippling strike in July.
In the ensuing negotiations after the strike, government and the doctors were entangled in a long-drawn tussle over codified working conditions which they say has been non-existent since 1996 when the Ghana Health Service was set up.
Government made good its promise to have a deal signed in October and also promised to factor the agreement into the 2016 budget which was later read in November.
Finance, Employment Ministers have all assured doctors, January 1 will be a game-changer for doctors working in public hospitals, assuring them that will enjoy their first ever documented conditions of service.
The GMA does not want any surprises.
“They worked out all the scenarios so we don’t expect something that will take us back to where we came from,” Yankson said.