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08.09.2005 General News

Hospitals back to life as doctors return to work


Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - Hospitals in the country started returning to life on Thursday as doctors returned to post after the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) announced an end to their six-day strike on Wednesday night.

Anxious patients were seen trooping to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to seek medical attention they had been deprived of for six days.

A visit by the Ghana News Agency to the hospital, however, revealed that although doctors were back to work there were no queues at the out-patient departments.

Doctors on Friday began an indefinite nationwide strike to press home their demand for the payment of their Additional Duty Hour Allowance (ADHA) arrears on their new salary levels. The decision to call off the strike was made possible by the intervention of President John Agyekum Kufuor and agreement for a new salary scheme, which was likely to replace the ADHA. A doctor who spoke to the GNA on condition of anonymity said he was happy to be back at work knowing the repercussion of strike on patients. He added that the Government should, however, honour its part of the deal to put the problems associated with the ADHA to rest once and for all.

"If this is done, strike would no longer be in our vocabulary," he said.

Ms Gifty Osei, a patient, said she was happy to receive medical attention after she was turned away last Friday.

She said because she could not afford to go to a private clinic she resorted to self-medication and was now happy that the right prescription had been given her.

Ms Osei pleaded with the Government to solve the problem of the ADHA to put an end to strike actions by health professionals. More TMA/PAF 08 Sept.05