TOMORROW, the Ghana Medical Association will hold a meeting of the General Assembly to review its strike action, and the entire nation anxiously awaits the outcome, hoping that it would call off the strike.
Per the road map, the association had planned that all its members working in the public hospitals would resign tomorrow.
However, following the National Executive Committee meeting held at Koforidua on Tuesday, they decided to table the issue before the General Assembly for final determination.
According to a member of the National Council, Dr Edward Boateng, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the meeting, their decision was influenced by the interventions made by civil society groups, the clergy and some eminent persons in the society.
The Times finds this development gratifying because this has been the call by us, since the impasse started – that cool heads should prevail for the problems to be tackled and solved without much rancour.
We had called on the Council of State, the Clergy, Parliament and Civil Society to step in to resolve the issue. We are, indeed, pleased that the various groups have acted upon our suggestion and exerted some influence on the two sides to soften their stance.
It is our hope that the groups would continue to prevail on the GMA to call off the strike, when it meets tomorrow, and return to the negotiation table, in the interest of the people who are bearing the brunt of their strike.
Precious lives have been lost since the strike began, and it would reach a catastrophic level if the doctors should carry out their threat to resign en-masse.
No one should have the delusion that all would be well, even if they resign.
As Dr. Edward Gyader, the former Dean of the School of Medicine, University for Development Studies, succinctly put it, there would be dire consequences if the doctors should resign.
From all indications, that action would have more serious ramifications for the nation. As he pointed out, apart from the patients who would suffer, the country may also have to close down all its medical training schools because there are young doctors in the schools who are being trained as clinicians at the various hospitals, by the doctors.
The Times believes we need to look beyond the current situation, and endeavour to stem it from exploding.
Again, we appeal to both the government and the doctors to abandon their entrenched positions, and dialogue.
Let us save the people from further suffering.