Source: GNA - The Regional Executive Committee of the Ghana Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisation has appealed to government and the striking doctors to resolve their differences, call off the strike and honour their obligations to the good people of Ghana.
The misery, pain, agony, frustration and despondency as well as anarchy unleashed on the ordinary citizen as a result of the strike had taken a devastation toll on their lives, health and resources, the coalition pointed

In a press statement in Wa, the coalition said, whiles it appreciated the critical nature of the work of doctors and equally recognising the right of doctors to demand from their employer better conditions of service.

It however pointed out the growing incidence of strikes particularly by doctors and health service workers had permanent consequence on the people and should be stopped.

Mr. Kanton Salifu Issifu, Regional Chairman of the Coalition said the current strike action was largely due to growing mistrust between government and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

He said the perception of rising corruption among political office holders had worsened the mistrust between Government and Labour Unions thereby poisoning the environment for genuine and sincere negotiations.

“Government’s lackluster and wait and see approach to engaging the doctors,” he explained, had also contributed to the current state of affairs.

The Chairman said the show of power on the part of Labour Unions through strikes and the blatant disregard of the labour laws and procedures, by both Labour and Government, were rather worrying and reinforcing the cycle of labour unrest in Ghana.

Mr. Issifu noted that over politicisation of the demands of the doctors by political actors and sometimes the Labour Unions members was disturbing and had the potential to create major disruptions to the economy and peace of Ghana.

Analysing the causes and consequences of the strike actions on the lives of the citizens, the economy and the peace of Ghana, the Coalition appealed to the GMA to call off their strike to save lives, while continuing with negotiations for better conditions of service.

The Coalition also urged government to demonstrate true faith and allegiance to the people of Ghana and address the current labour dispute and put in place mechanisms to prevent the recurrence of such strikes actions.

While agreeing that the GMA members are not bonded to poverty and servitude, Mr. Issifu urged the GMA to endeavour to protect the dignity and sanctity of the medical profession by putting their patients’ health and survival first before their economic rights as required by the sacred oath and creed of the profession.

The Coalition urged government to take steps to fight corruption and abuse of public resources by political office holders so as to restore public confidence in governance and the actions of the government.

The statement called for the enforcement of the labour laws in Ghana, and where necessary review the Labour Act to curtail strikes by some special institutions.

Mr. Issifu also suggested the de-regulation of the health sector by creating an enabling environment for private health sector to flourish.

The Coalition said that would off load the burden of government from being the main employer of doctors in Ghana and also promote efficiency in the health delivery system.

Government should also take a decision to release all medical doctors who currently were running their own private hospitals and clinics while working for government.

That measure, the statement noted, would help reduce the burden of government in terms of paying salaries thereby freeing resources for improving the health sector.

The Coalition alleged that 60 per cent of private clinics in Ghana were owned and operated by medical doctors who were working for government.

“This is what is killing the health sector and the government ought to be bold in dealing with this challenge”, the Coalition pointed out.


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