15.06.2006 Health

We Deserve Industrial Peace

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It is unfortunate that some members of the Health Workers Group (HWG) have decided not to go to work now that the junior doctors have picked their stethoscopes.

From all indications, the nurses want to go back to work but the pharmacists are not ready to budge an inch. The big question is, for how long should this situation continue?

The junior doctors stayed away for about 17 days and if the HWG is to continue its strike, then the health delivery system will paralyse.

The Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has made a passionate appeal to the striking workers to go back to work for the sake of humanity and that every effort would be made to solve their problem.

A former member of the Council of State, Mrs (Dr) Mary Grant, has joined in the appeal to the HWG and there are many Ghanaians who are equally concerned about the unfortunate situation.

It is a matter of regret that the health sector should be confronted with undesirable happenings as we see around.

Patients are struggling to obtain relief from those who have resolved to save lives and unburden their sorrows and pain and it is unfortunate that those same people are leaving patients in the lurch.

We are impressed about the efforts of the leadership of the nurses because it seems to appreciate the philosophy of Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp, who went to great lengths to care for the afflicted.

Clearly, she empathised with those who were going through pain and struggle for survival, an example worthy of emulation by all those who have taken to any of the professions geared towards the saving of lives.

Persistently, we have never spoken against any group of people seeking to better their conditions of service. However, sometimes the approach the groups adopts in achieving their goals is disturbing.

Our labour laws enjoin the parties to perform their roles while discussions are going on. Consequently, it would be appropriate for the HWG members to go to work while awaiting the promise that has been made.

It is our humble submission that if the managers of the economy have made a promise, then they must ensure that they keep their word when the time comes.

Equally, we wish to appeal fervently to our striking HWG members to allow compassion on the afflicted to guide them in their decision.

They will not be able to bring back to life all those who will die because of their action, even though they will take their salaries for the days on which they did not work.

It is only when they go back to work but their employer does not honour its part of the bargain that they will win the sympathy of the public.

We pray that the HWG will listen to the various appeals made and go back to work.

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