The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is making fresh demands from government over their conditions of service.
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, acting on behalf of the government, has been presented with a list of demands captured in a yet-to-be-signed conditions of service for doctors.
But ahead of the signing, President of the Association, Dr. Frank Serebour at the 65th General Meeting of the Association, made some key demands including access to free quality healthcare, secured pension including retirement on salary as well as a waiver on vehicles imported by doctors. According to him, the poor working conditions of doctors make it imperative that they are compensated adequately. “… We need to be protected from workplace hazards, we need to be given accessible healthcare which is unambiguously free, we need to be compensated for all the hazards we face.
“Our pensions need to be secured after we have sacrificed our bodies, minds and souls, we need logistics and an enabling environment to enable us to heal ourselves so that we can have the mental and physical well-being to be able to heal the population.
“Retirement on salary is not too much to ask for, there should be an immediate reinstatement of the vehicle importation tax waiver for health workers. “We should not be made to pay the ultimate price of losing our lives and homes in the quest of taking care of the vulnerable; someone must care for the health worker. What we are asking for is not an impossibility. We are not asking for the moon to swallow the sun neither are we asking for immortality,” they demanded.
GMA warned they may be forced to take a tough stance if the government fails to sign and implement the conditions of service by January 1, 2024.
Dr Serebour added; “The GMA will appreciate some urgency on the path of the Fair Wages and Salary Commission to bring closure to this process. The GMA has been patient, however, it is worthy to note that the labourer also deserves his wages and our patience cannot be stretched in perpetuity”Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei Asare has assured that the government is working to implement the conditions of service, explaining that parliament has already passed the exemptions tax paving the way for doctors to enjoy a waiver on vehicle importation.
According to her, the government has been able to meet GMA’s conditions of service for the past year, and she believes that this year will be no exception.
“The Chairman and President of GMA, I just want to assure you that we have made some progress and very soon Fair Wages and Salaries Commission will be calling a meeting to kick start the operationalisation of your new conditions of service,” she assured.
Source: Emma Ankrah