Minister of Health, Mr. Alex Segbefia has revealed that 177 doctors from Cuba are heading to Ghana to assist in healthcare delivery as doctors continue their strike over conditions of service.
Mr Segbefia also mentioned that as part of efforts to protect life, government had retained all the Cuban doctors who had completed their rotations were programmed to leave for Cuba.
He added that government was also in the process of bringing in 177 doctors to augment the numbers as part of the long-standing arrangement between Cuba and the government of Ghana.
Speaking at the meet the press series in Accra, Alex Segbefia said other Cuban doctors who are already in the country and have completed their rotation will be retained “in order to reduce the pressure in quasi-government hospitals.”
Ghanaian doctors are on an indefinite strike over government’s inability to agree on their conditions of service. They have given the government two more weeks to address their concerns or be faced with a complete withdrawal of their services from public hospitals.
Click here to read the full statement: 177 Cuban doctors to save lives in Ghana
“As we work to protect lives and restore normalcy, we are also retaining all the Cuban doctors who have completed their rotation and were programmed to leave for Cuba,” Segbefia said.
The minister also appealed to the doctors to return because, “we cannot just go and fix a document and give to the doctors, it must go through a process, so stop the strike action and let us negotiate”.
Alex Segbefia stressed that all public sector doctors who do not report to work on Thursday will be considered to have violated the Labour Act.
“Effect Thursday August 20, all members of the GMA who have not reported and assumed full duty shall be considered as being on strike and in clear breach of the Labour act.
“Heads of facilities are also requested to provide me weekly updates of which health workers are working,” he added.
He stated that, “There are some reports of threats and some intimidation of doctors who wish to work. This is their rights and any such act is a criminal offence”.