Gov’t concludes Condition of Service for doctors

•  Dr. K. Opoku-Adusei

• Dr. K. Opoku-Adusei

After four months of negotiations, government has con-cluded conditions of service for public service doctors, follow-ing a crippling strike in June, which lasted for more than three  weeks.

Doctors working in public hospitals across the country will from January next year enjoy their first ever documented conditions of service since the Ghana Health Service was formed in 1996.

The document is expected to properly spell out both financial and non-financial components of their engagement, as well as improve service delivery.

Government and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have remained silent on the content of the document, which was signed yesterday, as none could be reached for comment.

Government had said it was keen to clinch a deal with the doctors and make history as the political administration that handed doctors a codified set of conditions of service.

The GMA embarked on a strike which saw doctors abandoned hospitals for more than three-weeks. They first withdrew services to Out-Patient Department followed by a withdrawal of emergency services.

They later threatened to resign en masse.

Except for a two-week mortuary fees scrapped off for a dead doctor, they claimed there were no codified conditions of service. Even when their spouses or children were sick, they were made to pay for the expenses involved in taking care of them, they claimed.

The doctors, therefore, demanded conditions of service and proposed, among other things, a 40 per cent increase in their basic salary as accommodation allowance as well as 100, 90 and 80 gallons of fuel per month for the different levels of the profession.

They also requested 50 per cent of basic salary per month as professional allowance and a 30 per cent of their basic salary every month as clothing allowance but some government officials described the demands as outrageous.

President Mahama also vowed not to authorise payments outside the budget.

Former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor, the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II and the National House of Chiefs, and religious bodies intervened and asked the doctors to return to work.

Following the appeals, the doctors resumed duty, after repeated assurances from government that codified conditions of service would soon be signed for them.

News Desk Report

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