Employment Minister intervenes in junior doctors’ agitation

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Haruna Iddrisu has moved in to prevent over 90 house officers from some of the country’s major teaching hospitals from picketing at the offices of the Accountant and General’s Department.

The junior doctors had started to mass up at the Department after a senior official of the salary-paying institution denied knowledge of their grievance.

The doctors have been agitating for their 11-month unpaid salaries and had accused government of ignoring them even though some have gone through all the necessary procedure to get them enrolled on the payroll.

Speaking on TV3’s New Day on Monday, July 27, hours before their mass action, two of the doctors – Goh Asare and Nana Kissi Atefah – had disclosed that they had been unpaid since September, 2014, when they began working.

Not even an assurance by the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Victor Bampoe, and resistance from the police on Monday could stop the doctors from expressing their grievance.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, however, moved in to hold an emergency meeting with officials of the Department.

Briefing the doctors after the meeting, Mr Iddrisu announced that payments will begin from Wednesday for 64 of the doctors who have met the full requirments by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.

The rest, 27, will begin receiving full payment of their arrears after August, the Minister assured.

‘We have to be reasonable’

Our reporter says the doctors were happy with the assurance from the Minister, threatening to return if the minister reneges on his promise.

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Speaking moments after the announcement, Dr Atefuah said they are moderate in expressing joy about the news.

“We would rather wait for the full confirmation by Wednesday,” he said on Midday Live on Monday.

He said they are returning to their various posts as per the assurance from the Employment Minister because “we have to be reasonable”.

“We want to go back and see our patients.”

Source: 3news.com|Ghana