Government says it expects to clinch a deal with doctors by the end of October after they called off a crippling strike over the lack of conditions of service.
A relieved Employment Minister Haruna Iddrisu called the doctors’ decision to call off the strike as “undoubtedly welcoming news”.
“For us as government we had indicated that once this action is over we will reopen negotiation in earnest with the GMA and other health workers,” Haruna Iddrisu said on Multi TV and Joy FM’s Newsfile Saturday.
In accordance with this commitment, the minister said government will be meeting the Ghana Medical Association on Monday, 11 am to immediately re-start talks on their conditions of service.
Haruna Iddrisu revealed that government and the GMA had already negotiated four out of 12 of their proposed conditions of service.
The Category 2 and 3 allowances are being negotiated by the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiation Committee, he said.
The committee has been given deadlines to meet some as early as 30th September, he assured.
“It is the expectation of government that this year’s general negotiations on minimum wage and others we should be able to conclude by the end of October,” Haruna promised.
Government will then factor these agreements into budget preparations slated for November.
The excited minister was profuse in thanking chiefs, clergy, the media, and all those who joined government’s call in pleading that the doctors return to work.
Doctors withdrew out-patient services three weeks ago and followed up by withdrawing emergency services a week later.
A final option if activated would have seen about 2,000 doctors resigning from the Ghana Health Service.
The doctors have been stressing that it is unacceptable to work without conditions of service since the Ghana Health Service was established in 1996.
But government had also maintained that acceding to the demands of the doctors will throw the economy out of gear.
The Health, Finance and Employment ministers are expected to meet with the GMA in a new atmosphere of sober dialogue.
If a deal is clinched it will be a historic achievement for the doctors and government.