Former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Elias Sory, says recent agitation of health workers over their conditions of service and salary arrears indicates that the sector is in a crisis.
His comment comes as medical doctors across the country threaten to resign en masse if government fails to conclude their conditions of service by close of work of today, Wednesday, July 29, 2015.
Junior doctors withdrew their services early this week over their eleven months’ salary arrears, a situation which affected some health centres in the country.
Speaking to Joy News’ Beatrice Adu, Dr Sory said it is time for government to begin proper planning to avert serious problems in the health sector.
“It is a crisis because human resource is the most important resource in health, without which the patient cannot receive care. The equipment cannot operate on patients and the drugs we have cannot cater for the patients either”, he said.
Dr Sory noted that health professional have been forced to go contrary to their professional ethics due to government’s failure to properly address issues confronting the health sector.
“I always say it is sad that as professionals we are forced in a way to take action that goes against our professional ethics. Sometimes as Director-General I appealed to the conscience of health workers but I think that as policymakers and employers we sometimes delay in taking actions that could be taken earlier to avoid these things”.
Citing his own situation where it took him a long time to receive his salary when he completed medical school, Dr Sory said “it is a critical issue and government must try and resolve these issues so that they don’t recur.
He said it was necessary for “the ministry to sit down with people [students] who are passing out this year and plan with them as to how the situation can be resolved. It is time for government to begin proper planning to avert serious implications.”