A former Dean of the School of Medicine of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr. Edward Gyader, has warned of dire consequences for the country if striking doctors carry out their threat of resigning en bloc through.
He said apart from the patients who would suffer the brunt of the action, the country might also have to close down all its medical training schools as there were young doctors from those schools being trained as clinicians at various hospitals across the country by those same doctors who were threatening resignation en bloc.
“The threat to me is bigger than we are seeing it if you asked me, because if the doctors go en bloc, it means that all the medical schools in the country will also have to close down because we have young doctors being trained as clinicians at various hospitals and supervised by these doctors,” he said.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times on the sidelines at the regional commemoration of this year’s International Youth Day yesterday, Dr. Gyader appealed to all parties involved in the impasse to soften their stands and return to the negotiation table in order to find an amicable solution to the situation.
“What will be the use of these medical schools; we will have to break up too and wait until we can get doctors into the clinical terrain before we continue training and we cannot do that. We have to remember that some of the doctors also have their children at these schools and the action will affect them too,” he said.
Dr. Gyader, who is a member of the Council of State, noted that doctors by their oath, were not allowed to hold their patients to ransom for any monetary or material benefits.
“I think whatever grievances we have, we have to resolve them through dialogue, but giving ultimatums means we are not giving the system any chance to dialogue with us,” he said.
He said it was important for all Ghanaians to realise that all workers played an important part on the road to nation building and acceding to unreasonable demands by any one section could prove disastrous for the country.
While agreeing with those proposing to government to adopt the public private partnership model of managing health care in the country, the renowned surgeon called for caution in that direction, pointing out that that system came with its own cost which many Ghanaians could not afford.
He urged the government to continue to support the healthcare needs of the people until such time that most Ghanaians could afford their own healthcare.
The decision to re-engage retired medical doctors he said, was not the best since those retirees had served their due, adding, “it is time for another generation to take up from where we left off”.
He asked government to broaden the negotiation team to include experienced consultants to bring to bear their experiences in the discussion so as to find a lasting solution to this situation.
From Cliff Ekuful, Wa