Charged! Doctors threaten to lay down tools if…

Doctors working in public hospitals are expected to enjoy their first ever documented conditions of service this January.

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The Ghana Medical Association has asked government to fulfill its promise of implementing the conditions of service signed in October following four months of negotiations between the two bodies.

Doctors working in public hospitals across the country are expected to enjoy their first ever documented conditions of service this January since the Ghana Health Service was formed in 1996.

RELATED: Ghanaian doctors finally sign codified conditions of service

Speaking to Pulse.com.gh, the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association(GMA), Dr. Justice Yankson warned that doctors will refuse to work if the conditions of service are not implemented.

"For now, we need at least a whole month to be able to access the implementation properly before we can give a categorical statement on whether it is being done properly or not.

"Areas where maybe there is some monetary compensations will only reflect at the end of the month because of the way our payments systems are.

"But, without it, there is no work. I don't think anybody will say it will not be implemented. If the document is not implemented, who will go and work?," Dr. Yankson asked.

RELATED: Government deny claims GMA conditions of service have stalled

Negotiations between the two bodies resumed in September 2015 following appeals from various bodies including the National Peace Council, the National House of Chiefs, the clergy, and the media who worked behind the scenes to convince the doctors to return to work after a three-months strike action.

The GMA embarked on a strike on July 29, 2015 by withdrawing all Out-Patient Department (OPD) care to back their demand for conditions of service from the government.

The doctors moved the strike a step further by refusing to attend to emergency cases from August 7, 2015 when the government was unable to met their demand.

On August 14, the GMA met and resolved to continue the strike for two more weeks, instead of the doctors resigning en bloc, as they had earlier threatened to do.

However, a release by the association called on all members to resume work on August 24, while they awaited further information from their leaders.

The GMA said it took that decision after it had met and deliberated extensively on the ongoing industrial action and discussed all developments, including the dedication of its members to fight for a negotiated and signed conditions of service document.

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