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Government of Ghana announced here on Tuesday it would fall on 177 medical doctors from foreign countries to take care of patients in public hospitals boycotted by striking Ghanaian doctors.

Additionally, 16 Cuban doctors already working in rural areas of the country would be moved to the major Teaching Hospitals to provide health care.

The Ghanaian doctors, under the aegis of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), have withdrawn all Out Patient Department (OPD) and emergency services in demand for conditions of service.

Minister for Health Alex Segbefia, who was addressing the media, said although the 16 doctors were bound to leave the country after their assignment, government made them stay to assist until the issues with the public sector doctors had been resolved.

Meanwhile, some retired doctors have also agreed to return to work.
“As we work to protect lives and restore normalcy, we are also retaining all the Cuban doctors who have completed their rotation and were programed to leave for Cuba,” the minister stated.

The strike by public sector workers to drum home their demand for a fully completed and signed codified Conditions of Service document is now in its third week.

Government announced on Monday it could not continue negotiations while doctors remained on strike.

While government says it finds most of the demands by the medics outrageous, the doctors have also rejected a proposal sent to them by government on Friday.

With the local doctors extending their action for two more weeks, Segbefia said the services of the foreign doctors would be sought to augment the current numbers at post.

The health minister urged the striking doctors to return to work for negotiations to continue because government cannot just go and fix a document and give to the doctors.

“It (document) must go through a process, so stop the strike action and let us negotiate.
“The consequences of the illegal strike are sometimes irreversible and there is no justification for any loss of lives,” Segbefia said.

The minister directed those who needed medical care to 34 parastatal hospitals across the country where doctors were still at post.

He also directed that heads of facilities whose doctors were on strike should ensure that full service was resumed on Wednesday, (August 19), adding that any doctor who did not resume full duty would be deemed to be on strike and in clear breach of the Labor Act.

Source : Xinhua

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