According to Dr. Justice Yankson, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the union has no regrets embarking on a three-week long industrial action.
Members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) were on strike to demand codification and improvement in their conditions of service. Talks between government and the striking doctors had stalled on several occasions. While the doctors said government was not negotiating with them in good faith, government also said it could not negotiate under duress.
However, the National Executive Council of the GMA after considering the appeals from members of the general public, the clergy, and the National Council of Chiefs called off its strike and asked that the negotiations committee of the GMA continue to negotiate on behalf of the members of the association with government such that the conclusion of negotiations would be fed into the 2016 budget for implementation of same.
READ MORE: > GMA calls off strike
The Finder Newspaper earlier reported that, data compiled by the Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG) revealed that 500 people had died nationwide since public sector doctors declared a strike on July 30, 2015, to demand conditions of service.
But Dr. Yankson while speaking on Citi FM’s on Monday indicated that doctors should not be blamed for any misfortune which happened during the strike period. According to him, the industrial action was a genuine fight.
“This is a fight that we think shouldn’t have occurred in the first place. We are fighting for the future of doctors in this country, for people who are in the medical schools now, for people who are yet to be born and anybody who has dreams of becoming a medical doctor. So we don’t have any regret for anything that has happened in the last couple of days. In fact, we are very proud of the collective fight that as doctors we have put up and we will continue to put that up until the right things are done,” he said.
“The constitution, specifically the directive principles of state policy, enjoins the government of the day to ensure that the health needs of the people of Ghana are catered for… So if there were any shortcomings please direct that at the doorstep of the employer and not the Ghana Medical Association,” Dr. Yankson added.