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01.08.2005 General News

GMA gives govt ultimatum


Tamale, August 1, GNA - The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has given the government up to August 31 to expedite action on the payment of the Additional Duty Hour Allowance (ADHA) due health workers or it would be forced to resort to other means of seeking redress.

The association said since the beginning of this year health professionals in most regions had had their ADHA reduced for no apparent reason.

"Even though the new salary levels took effect from March this year, the ADHA has not seen any corresponding upward adjustment," Dr Francis Adu-Ababio, the Vice-President of the GMA, said at a press conference at the end of its fourth ordinary meeting at Tamale. He said the payment of the ADHA for health professionals in most regions was in three to four months' arrears contrary to the memorandum of understanding governing the payment of the allowance that stipulates that: "Payment for ADHA should not be in arrears for more than one month".

Dr Adu-Ababio called on the government to take immediate steps to pay the ADHA arrears in full up to the end of July and ensure that payments for March and subsequent months was based on the new basic salary levels.

He appealed to the public to understand that doctors "are only asking for prompt payment for work done and nothing extra" and drew the government's attention to "the current state of unrest among doctors nationwide and its potential to cripple health care delivery in the country".

On car loans for doctors and other health personnel, the association commended the government for its bold initiative to address the issue. Dr Adu-Ababio said since the car loans are paid for by the beneficiaries, "members deserve legitimate incomes to enable them to pay for the loans and meet other financial commitments".