XYZ News can confirm that Doctors have declared a nationwide strike starting Monday April 8, 2013. The decision was reached at a National Executive Council meeting of the Ghana Medical Association in the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi today Saturday April 6, 2013. From Monday, April 8, the Doctors will turn away all new Out-Patients and only attend to emergencies and patients who are already on admission. That phase of the strike will continue until Sunday April 14. If their grievances are still unattended to by that time, they will activate the second phase of the strike by turning away all emergency cases from Monday April 15 until their grievances are resolved. The leadership of the Ghana Medical Association has therefore informed all its members across the country to comply with the strike. The declaration of the strike follows the insistence of the GMA not to abide by a ruling upheld by the National Labour Commission on Friday April 5, 2013 concerning the payment schedule for the Doctors salary arrears. The doctors had resorted to the NLC seeking to overturn an earlier payment scheduled instituted by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.
According to the schedule, Doctors will be paid in three tranches, 2012 arrears owed them and the payment will begin in May 2013.
The May payment will comprise arrears for January 2012 to April 2012. The second payment due in July will comprise arrears for May 2012 to September 2012 whilst the final payment due in September 2013 will comprise arrears of September 2012 to December 2012.
The Doctors however got angered by the upholding of the Schedule by the National Labour Commission. The Leadership of the GMA even accused the Commission of succumbing to pressure from the Government to ignore the concerns expressed by the Doctors concerning their opposition to the payment schedule.
The GMA will issue a press statement on Sunday April 7, 2013 to officially announce the strike.