Members of the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists have laid down their tools effective today, Friday, January 31, 2020 to drum home their demands.
The decision to declare an indefinite strike, according to the group is to protest the refusal of the Medical and Dental Council to rescind its decision to change the group's name back to Physician Assistants.
The association further stated that the Medical and Dental Council’s approach of introducing a new curriculum for their training in a bid to change the already existing Bachelor of Science Anesthesia to Bachelor of Science Physician Assistants is a clear violation of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857 (Act 2013).
The Public Relations Officer for the Registered Anesthetists, Seth Mc-Andoh, said they will not return to work until the government intervenes to solve the problem.
“We have exhausted all our options and we still haven't gotten any feedback so we are laying down our tools effective 31st January 2020. There wouldn't be any anaesthesia service. We will be on strike until we get a favourable response from the government,” he said.
In an interview, Seth Mc-Andoh further explained that they had petitioned the Council over the matter but it failed to address their concerns.
“We petitioned the MDC in a letter dated 2nd October 2018 for which a copy was submitted to the office of the Health Minister during the discussion stage of the harmonization of the curriculum for training. An acknowledgement of the said letter has not been received by the MDC. The MDC has gone ahead to direct the various training schools to implement the proposed curriculum to award Bsc Physician Assistant-Anaesthesia, instead of the Bsc. Anaesthesia,” he added.
Members of the Association in April 2019 embarked on a partial nationwide strike over what they said was the MDC's attempt to change their title.
The strike was later called off after an agreement with the Ghana Health Service.
The Association threatened another strike from July 8, 2019, due to what the President of the Association, Jacob Wumbei had called government's failure in respecting the terms of the agreement reached.
“We want to go on a strike because we do not think it is right to take our patience for a ride,” he had said.
The Association, however, called off its nationwide partial withdrawal of services following an agreement reached with the Ghana Health Service.