It has been very disheartening to experience constant strike actions by various organisations and groups in Ghana with the aim of receiving proposed conditions from the government in power. Yes, it is acceptable in a democratic country like Ghana to embark on a strike action or demonstration with the mindset of the leaders in power responding to a proposed condition.
However, the strike action has rather been accepted by most well noted institutions in the country as the best and only remedy for the government to respond to their needs.
This strike action has caused more harm than good with reference to the recent strike action by doctors in Ghana. Most institutions go on the strike without considering the effects the people involved will go through or experience in their absence. I would not like to conclude that, if it happens this ways then it means they think about themselves alone and does not think about ‘service to mankind’.
On the other hand, from the look on how these strike actions are on the rise; then there will be no harm to say some government workers do not consider the people involved and the negative effects they will go through before they can conclude on embarking on strike.
Doctors in Ghana embarked on strike action starting from the Out-patient Department(OPD) of the government hospitals with the mindset of government responding to their proposed terms and conditions.
The situation which was taken on a slightest note caused more harm as most private hospitals had more patients at their premises putting more pressure on their doctors and nurses on duty; hence most people who had no money to afford private hospitals also lost their lives.
Eventhough it is accepted in a democratic country to embark on strike, but the leaders in Ghana also took good decisions by moving towards the direction of the demands from the doctors. The government of Ghana had plans to invite doctors from Cuba and also to call doctors who are on retirement to come back to work and help attend to patients.
It took the intervention of former Heads of State, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (Asantehene), Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin (Okyehene), the Christian Council, Pastors, Catholic Bishops Conference, Ghana Pentecostal Council, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the National House of Chiefs, the Peace Council, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Ghana Health Service, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor and other great people in the country for Doctor’s strike to come to an end.
Strike action should not get this extent where Chiefs and great men were begging and convincing people at all levels before they can get back to work; this is not acceptable in any country which is aiming to get to a developed stage.
I thought they will continue to be on strike as the Cuban doctors were almost about arriving in the country; hence report emerged that the doctors have called off the strike and will resume to work on Monday.
Read the full press statement below and you understand what i have been pondering on “Must strike action be the ultimate remedy to receive conditions from Gov’t”
PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED AT THE END OF AN EMERGENCY NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING, HELD IN ACCRA ON AUGUST 21, 2015
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) having met and extensively deliberated on the ongoing industrial action by the Members of the GMA and having discussed all developments including the following;
1. Dedication of GMA Members
The determination and dedication of the members of the GMA to fight for a negotiated and signed Conditions of Service document for doctors in Ministry of Health (MOH) and its agencies cannot be over emphasized. All doctors in the public sector have indeed proven that we have the tenacity and the capacity to fight for our future and shall continue to work together to achieve our goals. The National Executive Council of the GMA would like to salute our gallant doctors. It is clear to everybody that the fight has just started and our determination to get a negotiated and signed Conditions of Service document shall never be abandoned until same is achieved.
The National Executive Council of the GMA in its deliberations took into consideration the appeals by the ordinary Ghanaians, the wise counsel of certain eminent individuals and some credible organizations.
The intervention of former Heads of State, Otumfuo Osei Tutu Il (Asantehene), Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin (Okyehene), the Christian Council, Catholic Bishops Conference, Ghana Pentecostal Council, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the National House of Chiefs, the Peace Council, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Ghana Health.
Service Council, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, and sections of the media. It is the hope of the GMA that, all these people who have intervened will not relent on their effort to ensure that doctors in this country get their Conditions of Service to forestall future occurrence of this industrial unrest
3. Insults by Government Communicators The GMA at this moment forgives all these individuals who out of ignorance and other motivations took the path of insults in their attempt to resolve this industrial unrest by doctors to demand a legitimate right. It is the hope of the GMA that, these people will take a cue from this protracted industrial dispute and realize that, insults including threats of armed robbery attacks do very little to help matters when it comes to labour disputes.
4. National Labour Commission (NLC) Directive The NLC in time past has woefully failed to enforce its rulings in favour of the GMA against government. It is our hope that the NLC would leave up to expectation this time around.
5. Government’s Ultimatums, Intimidations and Threats Threats by governments and its agencies rather increased the resolve of the GMA. It is the position of the GMA that, the government has taken an entrenched position throughout the process of negotiations.
The government instead of adopting a problem solving approach rather chose to go on the tangent of threats and intimidations. We would like to indicate that, these threats, intimidations and ultimatums do not solve any problems in the industrial front.
6. Opinion of So-Called Labour Consultants The GMA finds it very unfortunate that some individuals who call themselves labour consultants chose the path of emotions in expressing their opinion in this matter.
It was the hope of the GMA that some of these people could have been more professional in their work instead of choosing to only see one side of the coin and in all their communications clearly showed bias towards the GMA. Indeed, some of these so-called labour consultants have proven to all and sundry that they are more of government communicators and propagandists than professionals.
In as much as NEC is aware that the general membership would like to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion, the NEC of the GMA decides as follows;
a. That the ongoing withdrawal of out-patient and emergency services by members of the GMA is suspended. b. That the suspension takes effect from Monday 24th of August, 2015.
c. That all members of the GMA should fully restore their services effective 8.00am on the said date.
d. That the Negotiation Committee of the GMA should continue to negotiate on behalf of the members of the GMA with government such that the conclusions of negotiations would be fed into the 2016 budget for implementation of same.
e. That all members should wait for further information from leadership as and when it becomes necessary.
Signed by President of GMA Dr Kwabena Opoku Adusei and General Secretary Dr Frank Serebour
Article written by: AllAboutAfrica.com
Press Statement: GMA