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26.11.2003 General News

Use social dialogue and incentives to stem exodus

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Accra, Nov. 26, GNA,- A medical practitioner has appealed to the government not rpt not to depend only on incentives to stem the tide in the exodus of health personnel from the country.

"The incentive arrangements meant to motivate health personnel by way of additional duty allowance, housing schemes and vehicle allocations have rather become subjects of controversy threatening to tear the public health sector apart," he pointed out.

Dr Felix Anyah, Director-General of the Holy Trinity Medical Centre in Accra, was speaking at a National Workshop on Strengthening Social Dialogue in Health Services at the Miklin Hotel in Accra.

Dr Anyah, who represented the Ghana Employers Association, suggested that government should instead opt for social dialogue with health workers, develop structures to promote efficient and high quality services to the public and offer attractive working conditions to those in the sector.

"An effective social dialogue requires freedom of association and expression as well as transparent medium of sharing information among social partners who can participate freely," he added.

He said since the health sector was highly labour intensive, the major challenge for its management lay in the development of its human resources including "performance management and pay or non-pay incentives in order to retain staff and attract newcomers into the profession."

He said strengthening social dialogue is one of the strategic tools used by the International Labour Organization in promoting decent jobs for workers and urged government to engage all stakeholders in a social dialogue to help resolve problems retarding the growth of the health sector.

Dr Anyah called for mutual respect among all stakeholders to enhance the sharing of relevant information among representatives of government, employers and workers on issues of common interest, especially those relating to economic and social policies as this was the fundamental principle of social dialogue being employed by the International Labour Organization.

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