07.06.2006 General News

Striking Junior Doctors urged to call-off strike

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Accra, June 7, GNA - Professor Agyemang Badu Akosah, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), on Tuesday appealed to Junior Doctors of the Service to call-off their strike action. He gave the assurance that the government was taking measures to solve their problems, adding that, they would be paid their new salaries plus two months arrears of the Additional Duty Hours Allowance (ADHA), in June.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, Prof. Akosah, said the Controller and Accountant-General had been directed by the government to ensure the swift implementation of the new Health Professional Salary Structure.

Flanked by Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Chief Executive of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Dr. Nsiah Asare, Chief Executive of the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals, he expressed the hope that the June payroll would reflect the new salary levels.

He stated that the government had requested the commercial banks to advance up to a month's salary of the new pay levels for health professionals were under "fiscal distress".

There was also an opportunity for overdraft to forestall serious financial difficulty, he said, adding that, a body would be constituted to receive complains for resolution for the next round of payment. "The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is, hereby expected to liase with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) for the implementation of such a proposal," he said.

Prof Akosah, said officials of the Ministry of Health, MOFEP and the Castle had been requested to stand in readiness to meet with the GMA to address any consequential issues in the implementation of the new salary structure.

The Deputy Minster of Health would also arrange with the Administrators of the Korle-Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals to grant salary advance to the affected staff, the GHS Director General stated.

"In view of these decisions, Government is requesting the GMA to move to suspend strike action", he said and appealed to the Doctors to exercise restrain.

Prof. Akosah said following the problems that arose with the ADHA, a decision was taken to seek the services of a Consultant to "re-look" the salary of the health sector.

He said a job evaluation was conducted with the involvement of all health professional groups culminating in a draft report that was disseminated to the various associations.

The Director General said the Health Workers Group comprising all other professional groups apart from Doctors took the issue to the National Labour Commission, which called for an independent committee to evaluate the job profiles to grade the salary structure.

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