GMA justifies partial withdrawal of services despite ongoing negotiations

The leadership of the Ghana Medical Association, GMA, has justified the partial withdrawal of services at public health facilities which begun on Thursday in protest against improper conditions of service for doctors.

The doctors say the partial withdrawal will be climaxed with a full withdrawal of services if their  demands are not met.

GMA took the decision at its extraordinary general meeting last month, cautioning to carry them out if government failed to meet a July 29 deadline over proper conditions of service for members.

Leaders of the GMA are dissatisfied their meeting with government ended inconclusively.

At  the meeting, the GMA proposed 15 items including clothing allowance and free importation of vehicles without paying duty..

But the government negotiation team declined some of the requests and rather agreed on nine items.

As it stands now, the leadership of the GMA has flouted  portions of the labor law which prevents strikes and demonstrations whiles negotiations are ongoing.  But according to the GMA, it has not flouted any law.

Already, some labor experts have criticized the group for not respecting the National Labour  Commission before withdrawing OPD services.

But GMA General Secretary, Dr. Frank Serebuor, says government should rather apologize for not complying with previous directives of the commission. The GMA says it has began discussions with patients for them to seek treatment elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the ministries of  labor relations and health are to meet the doctors on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 to continue the negotiations.

Several patients were left stranded at the Out Patient Departments of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, after they were told doctors had withdrawn parts of their services.

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