JUNIOR doctors in the country were reported on Monday, to have stormed the offices of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department in Accra, demanding payment of their 11 months accumulated salaries.

The junior doctors, 91 in all, from the various government hospitals across the country, left their duties for Accra, to fight for what was due them.

That action yielded instant result as the government reached an agreement with them for the moneys to be lodged in their bank accounts by 4:30 pm today.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, who represented the government, brokered the deal. Attributing the problem to “system failure,” he apologised to the doctors, assuring that the problem would be resolved within the shortest possible time.

The Times is amazed that officials responsible for payment of the allowances could allow the situation to deteriorate to that level, especially since the Minister had admitted that the doctors’ demand was justified.

We consider his explanation that the problem was due to system failure utterly unacceptable and regrettable. What is system failure? And who caused it?

It is incredible that the problem had persisted for 11 months, compelling the doctors to leave their patients and picket in Accra, just to fight for their rights.

It is unacceptable that people should work for nearly a year, without being rewarded accordingly and they are expected to give of their best.

Indeed, we need to commend the doctors for being at post all this while, rendering service to their patients in spite of the circumstances they find themselves.

It is a fact that most people in official positions often shirk their responsibilities and this eventually creates a lot of embarrassment for the government. And this continues because they are never sanctioned for their conduct.

While steps are being taken by the government to pay the accumulated salaries of the junior doctors, the Times suggests that a thorough investigation should be conducted into the cause of the “system failure” and those responsible dealt with, accordingly.

We also call for a holistic approach to solving the problems in the health sector, in order to avoid constant agitations from the various groups, that could eventually paralyse the system.

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