Tariff Hikes Could Spark Waves Of Suicide – GMA

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Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says the recent hikes in utility tariffs could contribute to a rise in suicide cases in Ghana.

The GMA’s General Secretary, Dr. Frank Serebuor, told XYZ News the psychological impact of the utility price hikes, could be damning and disastrous, if the Government of Ghana does not help the situation.

“…Can you imagine the psychological effect it can have on people? And remember these days even the suicide rate in Ghana is going high and these are some of the reasons why people are committing suicide,” he argued.

According to him, “…really, it’s not just the malarias and then the typhoid fevers and stuff like that that we are talking about. We are talking about the psychological impact that it will have on Ghanaians and it’s going to be huge and that is why we are saying that there is the need for the government to look at it, even in terms of the health [consequences] to review it downwards”.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), announced tariff increments of 78.9 percent for electricity and 52 percent for water last month.

The price changes took effect from October.

The opposition parties, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) amongst a raft of other civil society organisations and groups, have all kicked against the hikes.

The GMA is the latest to join the fray.

Dr. Serebuor told XYZ News that the tariff adjustment is “too high” and it’s anticipated “psychological impact on Ghanaians is not very healthy”.

According to him, the adjustments do not, in any way, match the recent 10 percent increment in the base pay of public sector workers and so could spark a wave of socio-psychological consequences.

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