GMA replies Mahama: Our proposal is for 2016 budget

GMAThe President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Kwabena Adusei Poku, says President John Mahama is misinformed about details of the service conditions proposals for its members.

Dr Adusei Poku insists the GMA is not demanding the payment of their conditions of service in 2015 but next year.

“The agreement that the government team is not telling Ghanaians is that what we said and what we have agreed is that whatever agreement we come to will be factored in 2016 budget to start implementation in January 2016”, he said.

President Mahama had stated that he will not spend a dime beyond what has been budgeted for as wages, allowances and salaries for public sector workers despite the pressure brought onto the health sector by the doctors’ strike.

Surprised by the comments, Mr Adusei Poku said someone is not doing his job to provide accurate information to the President.

“Our basic salary is not part of this negotiation because it is on the single spine and nobody can touch it. It’s not true that doctors are demanding salaries, it’s not true that we are demanding money from the government this 2015. And assuming we were is there anything wrong with it? All those who say all the things that they say some of them they don’t know so we forgive them. Who works in this country without conditions of service? Is it a crime that doctors want conditions of service? It’s not.”

According to him, GMA’s demand for the conditions of service is essentially aimed at protecting the next generation of doctors.

Among other things the GMA is demanding that their members who attain a rank of Principal Medical/Dental Officer and above should retire on their last salary where the doctor has served a minimum of 15 years at public hospitals.

Meanwhile, the striking doctors have withdrawn both outpatients and emergency services at public hospitals in line with a timeline that could end in resignation en masse later this month.

At two key public hospitals – that is the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the Komfo Anokye TTeaching Hospital – Correspondents reported Friday that there are no doctors at the accidents and emergency wards.

At the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Joy News’ Francis Abban reports that although nurses were taking care of in-patients, he was yet to see a doctor.

At the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Luv FM’s Erastus Asara-Donkor said the emergency wards are empty.

Junior doctors, who sometimes take up the task of treating patients during a GMA members, have sent a solidarity message to their senior counterparts – an indication that they may not assist this time.