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Press Release
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Striking members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) will be holding a general assembly on Friday, August 14, 2015 to decide whether to resign en masse or otherwise.

Ghanaian doctors at public health institutions have abandoned the wards and withdrawn from all emergency services over their conditions of service.

They have served notice about their intention to resign if government failed to heed their demands, but several stakeholders including the clergy have appealed to the doctors to rescind their decision.

“The National Executive Council mindful of the various developments including appeals by various groups in the country has therefore taken the decision that an Extra Ordinary General Assembly meeting be held on Friday, 14th August, 2015, to review the situation,” a statement from the GMA Tuesday said.


GMA wishes to bring the following to the notice of the public and all concerned:

Historical Perspective

1. Members of the GMA in the public sector have not had any DOCUMENTED Conditions of Service (COS) since the inception of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in 1996.

2. The various benefits currently enjoyed by our members ie 2 weeks of free mortuary services, are as a result of administrative directives, Memoranda Of Understanding (MOUs) and other discretionary offers from our employer. These are varied at will, without recourse to the employees.

3. The process of developing COS document for doctors began over 10 years ago, and has never been concluded, because the successive Governments prefer to operate a system where we cannot point, or hold them to any single document as constituting the COS for our members.

4. After several years of unsuccessful negotiations, the General Assembly of the GMA issued an ultimatum in November 2014 (“November Ultimatum”), with several subsequent reminders to the effect that if COS document is not signed before 30th of June, 2015, the GMA will put into motion series of actions that may disturb the industrial peace in the health sector.

5. Following the November ultimatum, in April 2015, a team was put together by government to draft a framework for negotiation for COS for the entire health sector. The team finished their work at the end of May 2015.

6. The Framework was supposed to guide all unions within the health sector on their proposals for negotiations.

The Negotiation Process

1. GMA submitted its proposal at a joint negotiation committee (comprising 16 members from the government team and 10 members from the GMA).

2. The ground rules for the Committee were signed between the parties on the 28th of June, 2015. In response to this progress, the GMA called for an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting on the 29th of June 2015, to review its deadline. The General Assembly agreed to shift its ultimatum to the 29th of July 2015, in other to give room for negotiations to continue. As part of the ground rules, both parties were prohibited from making public, any document from the negotiation table. It was against this background of utmost good faith that the GMA submitted its proposals.

Government’s Bad Faith

1. Throughout the process of negotiations it became apparent that the Government team was not properly mandated and they could not take any decisions. Indeed, the Chairmanship position of the government team has never been stable and kept on changing from time to time. It must be said that it was only on the day that the roadmap as stipulated by the GMA was supposed to come into force that the government team showed some signs of seriousness with the negotiations. The GMA therefore had no option than to roll out the roadmap on the 29th of July 2015, when no COS document had been negotiated and signed as was demanded by the General Assembly of the GMA.

2. As soon as the roadmap was put into motion, the government resulted to propaganda and lies with the aim of turning/swaying public opinion against the doctors despite the fact that it was the government that had not shown good faith at the negotiation table.

3. As part of government propaganda machinery, some proposals that the GMA had put before it at the negotiation table was leaked to the press, a clear violation of the ground rules that were signed between the parties.

4. Subsequently, several altered and fallacious documents were released into the public to make it appear as if government was making concessions and that it was the GMA that was being recalcitrant.

It must be noted that, government on several occasions had put positions on the negotiation table only to come back and withdraw them when it had been agreed by both parties.

Negotiations ended abruptly on Sunday, 9th August, 2015, when government put forward a take-it-or-leave-it proposal to the GMA which contained worse proposals compared to government’s previous proposals to the GMA. It became clear to the GMA then that, government had taken an entrenched position and was not ready to find solutions to the impasse but rather was counting on its propaganda machinery as a way out of the situation.

Meanwhile the GMA engaged the Ghana Health Service Council and on two (2) occasions had meetings with the Parliamentary Select Committee of Health with the aim of making progress with the negotiations.

Way forward

1. The on-going media war and propaganda launched by the Government through putting out of lies and half-truths do not add value to negotiations. In the opinion of the GMA, this path only leads to the inflammation of passions. This rather worsens the situation and in so doing boost the determination of the GMA to press home our demand for a proper negotiated and signed Conditions of Service.

2. The National Executive Council mindful of the various developments including appeals by various groups in the country has therefore taken the decision that an Extra Ordinary General Assembly meeting be held on Friday, 14th August, 2015, to review the situation.

3. In the light of the above, the GMA calls on all of its members to remain calm and steadfast in these turbulent times.

Release of fourteen (14) House Officers at Techiman Holy Family Hospital

The attention of the National Executive Council has been drawn to events happening at the Techiman Holy Family Hospital leading to the release of 14 house officers from the institution for reposting. The GMA will like to condemn the recent phenomenon where heads of training institutions at the least provocation threaten and or release house officers to the Medical and Dental Council for reposting.

This act amounts to intimidation and an infringement on the rights of house officers to participate in trade union activities, a right which is enshrined in the Labour Act 651. Heads of all health facilities are being admonished to stop this practice with immediate effect. The GMA will not hesitate to bring its full force to bear on such institutions that perpetuate such inferior tactics on its members. The GMA may in future advice its members not to serve in such institutions if it becomes necessary.

Ultimately the GMA wishes to remind all and sundry that the current action however difficult we find ourselves in, are aimed to finding long term solutions towards labour relations and improve on efficiency and quality care in the health sector.



Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei Dr. Frank Serebour

President General Secretary






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