The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) President, Dr. Kwabena Adusei Poku has hinted that the striking doctors may soon intensify their industrial action by going on an “indefinite strike” until the government accedes to their demands.
The GMA began their strike nearly two weeks ago by turning away cases at outpatient departments – the first step in the process towards resignation en masse later this month. It was then escalated to the withdrawal of emergency services across all public hospitals.
The group, which comprises over 2,000 doctors, intend withdrawing their services totally from August 14, 2015. This will cap a total resignation of the doctors from public health institutions.
Already, patients have begun feeling the brunt of the strike, with some turning to the more expensive private hospitals.
Speaking in an interview on Peace FM, Dr. Adusei Poku indicated that the medical doctors will embark on an indefinite strike action in the not too distant future.
According to him, talks with the government to enhance their conditions of service appear to have hit the rocks.
He revealed that during a meeting with the government on Sunday regarding their conditions of service, the Association received a letter from the government stating its “final position” on the subject matter; something he described as quite “unfortunate”.
“They didn’t give us room for negotiations because they had read out their final position on the matter so we took it (letter) and had to leave to meet the Parliamentary Committee on Health to report to them,” he said.
The GMA President added that “the propaganda and half-truths won’t help our progress. It won’t help the doctors. It won’t help government. It won’t help any individual in Ghana…It is the government that is hindering the negotiation process.”
“If the government negotiation team wants us to go forward, we will” but to him, “it boils down to the use of appropriate language in addressing the issue”.