Ghana Medical Association threatens to strike
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) National Executive Board (NEC) has decided to go on strike to demand resolution of all outstanding issues and related arrears payable to its members.
The resolution was contained in a statement issued by the GMA at the end of its fourth meeting of the National Executive Board (NEC) in Accra and signed by Dr Frank Ankobea, President of the Ghana Medical Association and Dr Justice Yankson, the general secretary.
The NEC has requested full resolution of national and facility-level grievances by the government by September 30, 2021, failing which the roadmaps include; the suspension of outpatient services (OPD) for one week from Friday 01 October 2021, would begin.
Other actions to follow are the withdrawal of all inpatient services as of Friday October 08, 202, if all issues were still not fully resolved, and continue from October 15, 2021, with a complete withdrawal of all services, he said.
“The GMA hereby notifies this resolution to the central government, the Ministry of Health and its agencies, the Ministry of Finance and all other stakeholders,” he said.
The Association further noted with concern the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, leading to a third wave of the pandemic in the country, which was largely due to the Delta and Alpha variants.
He attributed the strong spread of the virus directly to the complete disregard and lack of enforcement of COVID-19 prevention protocols across the country, and the importation of cases from other countries via travelers arriving at the point of entry into the country.
The GMA meeting, which deliberated on relevant issues concerning the health sector in particular and the country in general, called the situation alarming at the moment, especially with the rapid spread of the Delta variant among communities. .
He said the risk of an exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and the resulting strain on the country’s already overburdened and fragile health system, and the national economy, could not be ignored.
The GMA said the various major health facilities, especially those in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions involved in the management of moderate, severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients, continued to see an increasing number of infections. and related deaths.
He called for an urgent scale-up of free and improved COVID-19 testing in communities, especially for those identified as hot spots, for contact tracing as well as strict isolation and management of all those infected. in designated centers, as well as strict adherence and enforcement. of all preventive protocols to help break the chain of transmission.
The GMA, however, recognized the efforts of the government to obtain the COVID-19 vaccines and encouraged it to speed up the process, to allow Ghanaians to be vaccinated before the third wave of the pandemic got out of hand.
He said that acquiring and deploying vaccines for the benefit of all eligible people must be the government’s top priority to fight COVID-19, and the government must work hard to achieve this since vaccination can no longer be delayed.