Return to work by Thursday else… Gov’t to doctors

dddGovernment has given the public sector doctors up to Thursday to call off their strike and return work or be considered to have breached the labour laws.

“Effective Thursday, 20th August, 2015 all members of GMA who have not reported and assumed full duty shall be considered as being on strike and in clear breach of the Labour Act,” the Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia stated.

Addressing the press on Tuesday Alex Segbefia directed the management of all public health institutions to ensure that they are fully functional on Wednesday, August 19.“Heads of facilities are also requested to monitor and provide weekly updates on which health workers are at post to my office.”

Government pulled out of negotiations with the striking doctors claiming it will only re-open its doors if the strike is called off.

The doctors in the public sector are demanding the provision of a codified condition of service for them.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Employment and Labour relations, Haruna Iddrisu has described the strike, as “illegal” saying government cannot negotiate with the doctors “under duress.”

He has also directed all heads of government establishments where workers have embarked on strike to submit to their list for their salaries to be withheld.

Mr Segbefia has also cautioned individuals who according to him are harassing the few medical doctors who have defied the GMA’s directive for a nationwide strike.

“There are some reports of threats and intimidation of Doctors who wish to work. This is their right and any such act is a criminal offence which if verified will be met with the full rigors of the law. Let us continue to behave in a tolerant manner. Let me be quick to add that as reiterated by his Excellency President John Dramani Mahama, despite the doctors being on strike nobody and he means absolutely nobody has the right to abuse them.”

The Health Minister further outlined certain measures taken by government to mitigate the effects of the strike.

He said “Physicians and Medical Assistants are being deployed wherever possible under the supervision of Doctors who are ready and willing to work.”