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20.03.2009 Health

'Single Spine report not conclusive'

By The Ghanaian Times

The Minister of Health, Dr. George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, has assured the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) that the Ministry does not intend to implement the distorted single spine salary structure (SSS) it claimed to have "sighted".

The GMA says it has sighted a document which places other health workers at par with specialist doctors, but the Minister said he had found out that the document being referred to was the final draft report by the consultant engaged to work on the pay structure.

He was speaking at a meeting with executive members of the GMA on the concerns expressed by the association on the salary structure.

Dr Yankey said the ministry had also discovered some anomalies in respect of relativities between the salary of doctors and other health workers in the draft report and steps had been taken to rectify those anomalies in the new salary structure, as it applied to health workers.

"I have already instructed the Director of Human Resource Development of the Ministry to study the report and to submit comments for us to meet and discuss with the Fair Wages Commission,” he said.

The Minister said the Fair Wages Commission was in the process of finalizing the new salary structure and would eventually invite stakeholders, including GMA, for their comments before submitting it for approval.

''It is important, therefore, for all concerned to be patient and seize the opportunity to make their case through approved channels", he said.

Dr Yankey said several stakeholder meetings had been held with the Commission and it had been agreed that professional groups having specific problems should engage the commission to resolve them.

“I will encourage the GMA and other groups with similar grievances to take advantage of this opportunity".

Dr Yankey said he was aware that, there were challenges involved in the management of health workers' salaries, which had always been the basis for almost all industrial actions involving health workers.

Dr Emmanuel Adom Winful, president of GMA, thanked the Minister for the assurance that the document they 'sighted' was a draft and one that would not be implemented, as it was now.

He said there had always been mistrust between the MOH and the GMA because documents often "sighted" in the past, were finally implemented even though assurances were given that they were draft documents, citing the Additional Duty Allowance as an example.