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29.05.2007 General News

Government denies cutting doctors salaries

By myjoyonline

The Government's Spokesperson on Social Services, Kofi Amponsah Bediako, has challenged claims that government intended to implement a policy purporting to slash salaries of public sector doctors.

The Ghana Medical Association said on Sunday it had sighted a government document proposing the slash to compensate other health workers whose salaries were deemed relatively low.

The GMA in a communique issued at the end of it's third National Executive Council meeting in Accra on Sunday, and signed by its President, Dr Francis Ababio and the Assistant General Secretary, Dr Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, said the document was titled, "Public Health Sec¬tor Pay Reform Restructured Payscale: Payscale 1 and Payscale 2 Combined" and claimed that the government intended to implement it to the disadvantage of doctors.

The Association consequently vowed to resist, “by every legitimate means, any attempt to implement it."

But Amponsah Bediako told Joy News government had not put out any such document, explaining that it was rather engaged in a public sector salary review exercise whose outcome should be out in August.

“As far as I know, there is no document to that effect. What is being done is a review of the entire sector,…for all categories of workers, not just the health, all categories of workers and even in the case of that one, the efforts would be made known around August. I don't think that as at now anybody has drafted any document to the effect that doctors' salaries are going to be cut as a top up for other health workers. That would be very unfair.”

Amponsah Bediako explained that it would be unfair because even though salary reviews were permitted, adjustments were usually made upwards and not downwards to create injustices.

“We are very surprised and we are still looking at the issue how and from where the document came but to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing to that effect.”

Amponsah Bediako's denial notwithstanding, the GMA President, Dr Francis Ababio maintained that the document indeed existed that suggested cuts in doctors' salaries and he was all for it if government was denying publicly it intended to implement such a document.

“We believe that there is some merit in what we have sighted and therefore if it has not been part of the discussions then for Christ's sake it should not be implemented to create any agitations and we do not want any agitations as far as the GMA is concerned,” he told Joy FM.