25.07.2006 Health

GMA wants to sign a collective bargaining agreement with government

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The Ghana Medical Association has asked government to immediately sign a collective bargaining agreement with doctors that clearly spells out details of the recent pact that ended weeks of strike by doctors.

In a communiqué after an executive council meeting, the president of the GMA – Dr. Francis Adu-Ababio – said there is no document that spells out the specifics of the service conditions for doctors.

He said there is the need to sign an agreement to avoid any distrust in the future.

“We were negotiating on basic salary and that was the belief they negotiated on the GMA side, we were made to believe. We have concluded the basic salary issue because perhaps that was the mandate the management team was given and this was made clear in the discussion".

"Following that, we were expecting whatever we discussed on the basic salary would be captured for us to send at least for the two parties to initial against whatever agreement we reached at that level”, he said.

Dr. Adu-Ababio also raised concern about the service conditions of doctors and dentists in specialized institutions such as the military hospital.

“I do respect the code of conduct of our members within the security service. We recognize that they are in a peculiar situation but you would not understand why they perhaps as doctors will be treated such that they will look as if they are losing income that they are supposed to earn compared with their counterparts elsewhere”.

“We've been very supportive especially in the industrial areas and other public institutions. We recognize that but they always look up to the GMA for faith of comparism".

"All that I'm saying is that the GMA has developed a position paper and if they think they would want to use that as a template for further negotiations with their sector, and then I think there's something to look up to”, he said.

The GMA also expressed the hope that government will act to speed up the promotion of doctors in public health who are due for elevation.

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