An executive of the United Front Party (UFP), Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku, has dragged the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to court over its members’ decision to withdraw their services as part of a roadmap to resign en bloc from public service.
The suit filed at the Labour and Industrial Division of the Accra High Court on Thursday, August 6 said GMA’s actions is “quite disturbing in view of the crucial role medical doctors play in any nation’s life and wondered if a strike action should not be the last resort especially since it had not heard of any negotiations between the Government or its representatives which had broken down preceding the announcement that the defendant was embarking on a strike action.”
GMA withdrew out-patient services on Thursday, July 30 and has threatened to do same for in-patient and emergency services after Friday, August 7 if government had not reached a compromise with them over proper service conditions.
President John Dramani Mahama at a meeting with midwives on Wednesday made government’s stance clear over the issue.
“I would not authorize any expenditure on wages and compensations not provided for in the budget,” he stressed.
This has created a seeming impasse in negotiation between the doctors and government.
The Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Kofi Asamoah, called for sanity, appealing to the doctors to return to work and the negotiation table.
But in his writ of summons, the UFP General Secretary lent credence to government’s position, indicating that while the doctors are entitled to their demands “as far as improvement on existing conditions are concerned same must be done on a gradual basis and the defendant’s employer ought to consider these demands holistically within the context of existing resources available to it so as not to default its implementation in the event that it finally accedes to its demands.”
Mr Kusi-Poku also wants “a perpetual injunction order compelling the defendant to return to work and to stay at work until the conclusion of negotiations”.