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18.03.2009 General News

Single Spine Salary Structure lacks scientific basis - GMA


The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on Wednesday described as unacceptable the current form of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) saying it was flawed and lacked scientific basis.

It said the SSSS, as it affected to doctors and other health professionals, seemed to reward longetivity in service, rather than spurring them on to constantly upgrade their skills.

Dr Emmanuel Adom Wilson, President of the GMA, said this at a news conference in Accra to state the GMA's current position on the SSSS.

Dr Wilson indicated that there was complete distortion of relativities in the health sector, saying that, professionals of certain levels of the Ghana Universal Salary Structure and the Health Sector Salary Structure now found themselves ranked below others to whom they were senior.

“The consultant gave undue credit to the title, “Chief”, freely dispensing it to various categories of heath professionals. The scale is thus full of Chief this and Chief that without respect for levels of qualification and job description,” he added.

Dr Wilson also noted that the consultant who worked on the final document seemed to have lacked clear understanding of the basic hierarchies of the health sector.

He therefore bemoaned inadequate consultation by the consultant before the final document was prepared and asked other labour unions to join in to discuss other thorny issues pertaining to their sectors.

The GMA President called on government to as a matter of urgency review the SSSS in the health sector before proceeding to implement it.

He said the GMA was prepared to hold discussions that would move the health sector agenda forward, but warned that, “we are not enthused to hold any numerous fruitless meetings which have characterized previous governments”.

Dr Wilson also denounced pronouncements by some government officials that doctors were the second best paid doctors in the sub-region, saying, “doctors have still not had any salary reviews since negotiations were first concluded in 2006”.

He therefore called on government, particularly the Health Minister, Mr George Sipa Yankey to be more proactive to holistically address such issues confronting the health sector.

Touching on recent media reports that some junior doctors had threatened to go on strike should government fail to address disparities in the SSSS, Dr Wilson said GMA had not received any letter to that effect and therefore assured the public that there would not be any such industrial action.