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In spite of heavy borrowing Health sector strikes sign of mismanagement – NPP

The NPP says the manner in which government appointees and their surrogates are handling the strike action by the GMA is not the best

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Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong play Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says in spite of the “heavy borrowing by the government” which finds itself in a financial constraints, it has attributed the wave of strikes that have hit the country’s health sector to mismanagement by the Mahama-led administration.

In a statement signed by its general secretary Kwabena Agyepong Tuesday, the NPP advised government to engage the services of “experienced experts” to help resolve the impasse.

Below is the full statement:

NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY ON STRIKES ON THE LABOUR FRONT

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, the New Patriotic Party is concerned about the unfortunate developments currently happening on the labour front, with increasing number of strikes from workers such as State Attorneys, Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists. Teachers and other public sector workers have also stated their intent on embarking on strike actions very soon.

What is clear is that the increasing labour unrest is not taking place in a vacuum. It is the result of mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy and rampant corruption by the John Mahama led National Democratic Congress government, which has found expression in the high cost of living faced by Ghanaian workers, deteriorating conditions of service, widespread unemployment and unavailability of basic supplies, such as chalk in schools, and paper in offices.

Notwithstanding the access to huge resources in terms of taxes, cocoa, gold and oil revenues as well as the unprecedented increase in borrowing, the mismanagement of the economy and corruption by this NDC government has resulted in an IMF bailout which places strict conditions on employment and wage increases that could have cushioned workers. The blame for the current spate of industrial strikes therefore lies squarely with the government and not with the workers. The government has proven to be insensitive to the plight of workers and has shown bad faith and leadership in negotiating with workers.

The latest example of the leadership crisis plaguing this country has been made manifest in the strike actions being embarked on by almost every aspect of the public health sector. Lest we forget, the public health sector is one of the most important pillars of our national development. Clearly, the manner in which government appointees and their surrogates are handling this sensitive issue is not the best.

Fellow countrymen, the way to go is not with insults from appointees of government and senior ruling party officials by raining and sharing despicable lies against some of the Doctors. Under the leadership of President Kufuor, the NPP on all occasion during health sector strike actions jaw-jawed than to war-war. The NPP respected the value and productivity of each work force. Eventually, we were able to stem health worker brain drain as a result of renewed and enhanced conditions of service of health workers by migrating health workers unto the health services salary structure. Over time this was scaled up to include all public sector workers through the single spine salary system. What we see now is absolute collapse of all this salary structures due to crass corruption under the ruling NDC government.

Ladies & gentlemen of the press, really, things have fallen apart and leadership is in disarray. As of now many nurses, pharmacists and other trained health workers who completed their training in 2013 have not been absorbed by the public health sector although many public health institutions especially those in the countryside are yearning for them. This development is causing preventable deaths of many Ghanaians especially folks living in deprived communities and rural areas in the country. We recommend to the John Mahama led administration to set up a team of experienced senior personnel to engage the leadership of these workers to find mutually beneficial and sustainable solutions to the problems confronting the country’s public health.

We wish to take this opportunity to urge various health professionals in the country to continue to show patriotism and some level of care even under this difficult period. The New Patriotic Party government in January 2017 under Nana Akufo-Addo’s leadership by the grace of God will implement effective policies to address problems in the sector. Our party has the enviable track record of better managing the economy, rewarding productivity and providing a listening ear to workers. What we are witnessing today on the labour front are the consequences of bad economic management and corruption

The NPP under the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo will grow the economy, create more jobs and improve the conditions of service of Ghanaian workers.

God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.

Thank you and God bless us all.

…….SIGNED………
KWABENA AGYEI AGYEPONG
GENERAL SECRETARY

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