That initiative is to ensure that lives are not lost as a result of the doctor’s strike, as the government engages the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in negotiations for service conditions for public sector doctors.

The Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, who made this known, therefore, appealed to retired doctors to contact the GHS to make arrangements for them to offer their services.

Speaking after visiting the Ridge, the La and the LEKMA hospitals in Accra yesterday, he reiterated the need for striking doctors to call off their strike while negotiations continued.

He said it was crucial for the doctors to return to work, since “a life lost is a life too many”.

The minister’s call on the doctors came as the countdown to the proposed mass resignation of doctors on Friday, August 14, 2015, begins.

The strike by the GMA began with the partial withdrawal of service, followed by a total withdrawal of service, including emergency cases.

Mr Segbefia said once the issue was on the table, it was important for the doctors “to come to work” while negotiations between the GMA and the government continued.

He said the strike was illegal, since it was against the rules of engagement outlined by the Labour Law.

“One of the tenets of the rule of law is adherence to the rules,” he said.
At the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, all the doctors were working on humanitarian basis, in spite of the strike declared by the GMA.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Emmanuel Apori Obeng, said the hospital was currently attending to patients because doctors had the mission to save lives.

However, at the La General and the LEKMA hospitals, there were no outpatients, with only a few doctors attending to in-patients.

Although the number of doctors at both hospitals had dwindled, no fatalities had been recorded as of yesterday.

At the La General Hospital, the acting Medical Director, Dr Nihad Salifu, told the media that the hospital was only attending to expectant mothers, children, as well as in-patients who had serious health issues.

She indicated that it had attended to 10 cases as of midday but would have attended to 60 cases on a normal day.

Meanwhile, at the LEKMA Hospital, patients who had been admitted before the strike were receiving medical attention, whereas other departments of the hospital had been deserted.

A nurse at the hospital, Ms Grace Gyimah, told the media that the hospital attended to 52 cases in the morning, compared with the normal daily attendance of about 350 cases in a day.

She appealed to the government to hasten the negotiation process to enable doctors to call off the strike, since the workload hung on the necks of nurses.

Source: Graphic

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