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Doctors' negotiations GMA conditions of service still hangs in the balance

The Ghana Medical Association, GMA had expressed hope that the negotiations would be concluded early enough, so that any agreement reached could be factored into the 2016 budget.

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No agreement reached on conditions of service for doctors - GMA play

No agreement reached on conditions of service for doctors - GMA

The fate of doctors on getting a codified conditions of service document is still hanging in a balance. This is because government is yet to have a conclusive agreement with the Ghana Medical Association over the codified conditions of service for public-sector doctors and all health professionals.

Negotiations between the two bodies resumed last month 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 Ghana Medical Association, GMA had expressed hope that the negotiations would be concluded early enough, so that any agreement reached could be factored into the 2016 budget.

But, speaking in an interview with Pulse.com.gh, the deputy general secretary of the GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson said no agreement has been made yet three weeks into negotiations.

"We have been having a couple of meetings here and there. But we haven't reached any agreement. I have no idea as to when. As we speak, no agreement has been made. Nothing has changed. We can only wait for the processes to continue. At some point, we would make a decision. But for now, in terms of timelines, we have not made any decision yet", he added.

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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