The Employment and Labour Relations ministry has called the strike by the Ghana Medical Association GMA, illegal.

The doctors have also been ordered by the ministry to go back to work with immediate effect. In a statement signed by the sector minister Haruna Iddrisu, the ministry indicated that the partial strike by the GMA has forced government to negotiate under duress.

“The current withdrawal of services is illegal and Government calls on the GMA to call of the partial strike with immediate effect.” The statement said.

The ministry added that “It is unfair and against the rules of labour practice for the GMA to declare a partial strike by withdrawing all outpatient services. This amounts to coercion and an attempt to compel Government to negotiate under duress.”

The Ghana Medical Association withdrew their services to outpatients as one of the steps to force the hand of government to negotiate fairly on their members' conditions of service which include fuel and clothing allowance.

The statement further said “Government wishes to note that already the Public Service Joint Negotiating Committee (PSJNC) is involved in a universal discussion of Category 2 & 3 allowances.  Any negotiations of such allowances must therefore be under the ambit and in line with the work of the PSJNC.”

The ministry says before it arrives at any conclusion on the conditions of service of public sector workers “it is important for Government to conduct a financial analysis of the impact of any such conditions of service on Government expenditure in order not to adversely affect the annual budget approved by Parliament."