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04.01.2005 Regional News

Paramedics in Eastern Region threaten strike over unfair ADHA

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Koforidua, Jan. 4, GNA - The Paramedical Group of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Eastern Region has threatened to embark upon a general strike on Monday, January 17, should the Ministry of Health (MOH) fail to address the "unfairness" in the administration of the Additional Duty Hour Allowance (ADHA).

The Group decided that while negotiations with the MOH were going on over the issue, members of the Group would start wearing red bands as from Thursday, January 5, and if by January 14, nothing concrete happens, the Group would embark on strike.

The threat was contained in a resolution issued by representatives of the seven paramedical bodies in the Eastern Region after they held a crisis meeting at Koforidua on Wednesday.

The Group called for upwards review of the hours allocated to them in the administration of the ADHA, at least, to put it at par with other professionals in the MOH or the GHS with effect from October 2004. The resolution called for the reduction of a 15 per cent income tax imposed on the ADHA of some of the paramedical staff whose allowance threshold did not fall within the tax bracket.

The Group noted with concern that the MOH's reaction to ADHA issue had always been "impulsive and selective", and called for a long-term solution to the problem.

The resolution suggested that negotiations to address the ADHA problem should be driven by the health service technical committee report and other findings submitted by health professional representatives along side other technical group reports.

The Group expressed concern about the serious regional disparities in the appropriation of the ADHA funds, which it noted, had resulted in disproportions in the allocation of hours to staff in health institutions in the region as compared to their colleagues in other regions.

The Group expressed regret that at the national level, the ADHA disbursement was still based on the number of districts per region instead of the number and value of the staff in the regions. The resolution therefore called on the National Headquarters and the regional offices of the GHS to adopt "scientific methods" in the distribution of the ADHA funds and called on all regions to implement the recent ADHA Technical Committee's recommendations on the disbursement of ADHA.

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