The doctors have called off their strike to pave way for negotiations
The government has backtracked on its decision to freeze the August salaries of doctors who embarked on a three-week-old strike over their conditions of service.
The aggrieved members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) hanged their stethoscopes and withdrew from handling all emergency cases which resulted in the death of 500 people nationwide.
The government described their strike as “illegal” and a coercive tactics to compel it to kowtow to their demands. A directive was given to all heads of public health institutions to halt the payment of salaries of the doctors in August over their action.
However, the Employment and Labour Relations minister Haruna Iddrisu has revealed the government has rescinded its decision to suspend the salaries since the doctors have called off their strike to allow negotiations to take place.
“When you are building bridges you need to change your posture,” Iddrisu told Accra-based Joy FM. “I don’t think any medical practitioner will suffer as a result of the action they embarked upon.”
“Where it is necessary and compelling we have no hesitation in enforcing it,” the minister said in reaction to why teachers’ salaries were frozen for embarking on a similar action.
On the contentious conditions of service, the minister disclosed the doctors will sign a codified document by October 30.
Iddrisu assured negotiations between the doctors, who called off their strike Friday, and the government will resume Monday, August 24 at 11am.
He said the government is committed to healthy talks and will aim at completing the process by the end of next month in order to incorporate the outcome in the 2016 budget.