The Ghana Medical Association has condemned the approach by newly employed House Officers of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, who refused to acknowledge the uncertainties about their conditions of service, leading to their dismissal.
Speaking to the GNA in Accra, Dr Francis Adu-Ababio, President of the GMA, described the action of the House Officers as an embarrassment not only to the Leadership of the Association but to the entire medical profession.
Dr Adu-Ababio stated that as much as the GMA would support every legitimate attempt by individuals or group of persons to demand their rights, it would not encourage such unilateral actions, especially when the leadership of the Association was close to securing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health (MOH).
He said the negotiations were very close to trashing out issues on their salary structure and referred to the whole situation as unfortunate.
Dr. Adu-Ababio said the Association supported the decision of the hospital authorities to recruit new House Officers to replace the over 90 House Officers whose agreement with the hospital had been cancelled. This is to ensure that Patient's care in the facility was not disrupted.
“As much as the GMA agrees that the termination of the agreement is harsh, we also think that the hospital authorities were pushed too hard to the wall and were left with no other option than to abort the agreement and recruit new men who are interested to work,” he said.
Dr Adu-Ababio explained that the GMA had earlier on met with representatives of the House Officers and given them an update on the progress of negotiations with the MOH on the conditions of service and salaries for Public Sector Health Workers.
He said the GMA did not have the slightest hint about the plans of the House Officers concerning the ultimatum to the Hospital Administration and the threats to withdraw their services by April 26, 2007.
He said the Association believed in dialogue and negotiations as a better option to solving a problem and said the GMA had been at the forefront of many negotiations which had yielded good results in the past. He said if the leadership of the House Officers were not happy with any aspects of the on-going negotiations, they could have come out with proposals for effective results.
Dr Adu-Ababio advised the House Officers to bury their pride and accept the “olive hands” of the Hospital authorities to re-apply to the post if they were interested.
He explained that Housemanship was part of the requirement of medical officers to become fully recognized as professionals and therefore it was important that the House Officers went through the procedure.