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02.09.2005 Health

Health Ministry appeals to GMA to call off strike


Accra, Sept. 2 GNA - The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday appealed to the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to advise its members to exercise restraint and call off their strike action to avert any loss of lives.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Mr Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Deputy Minister of Health, said the Ministry regretted that members of the GMA had withdrawn their services in spite of the ongoing dialogue to pay the difference in the Additional Duty Hours Allowance (ADHA) arising from the salary increase from April 2005 to June 2005. It said the Association was aware of efforts being made by the Ministry to address the ADHA problem.

The statement reminded the members of the GMA that the health service was an essential service under the new Labour Law and, therefore, health workers were not to go on strike.

It said for about two months now the Ministry had been negotiating with all the health professional associations on steps to streamline the payment of the ADHA.

The statement said the Ministry after meeting the professional groups on August 12 and August 29 had been in touch with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on how to pay the ADHA arrears arising out of the salary increase from April this year.

"The Ministry has made the payment of monthly ADHA regular and that ADHA for June has already been paid. Furthermore, July ADHA is being processed for payment. The Ministry has thus made every effort to reduce delays in payment of ADHA now."

It said the Ministry was still dialoguing with all the health professional groups to find a lasting solution to the ADHA problem.

"The Ghana Medical Association is already part of the ongoing negotiations and the Ministry is still available to continue with the negotiations."