The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on the government to review the condition of service of medical doctors and other health professionals to enable them deal with the economic challenges in the country.
Addressing a press conference after the 64th Annual General Conference of the GMA held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Dr Frank Serebour, the President of the GMA, said the current economic challenges were biting hard on the livelihoods of medical doctors and other health professionals.
The President, therefore, called on the government to review the condition of service of doctors and other health professionals and immediately open discussions for negotiations on base pay.
“The escalating prices of fuel, food, goods and services make it very difficult for all of us in the public sector as well as doctors to make ends meet,” Dr Serebour said.
“Currently, the condition of service of doctors and other health professionals in the public sector is deteriorating by the day. The skyrocketing cost of living fueled by the surging inflation and depreciation of the Cedi has resulted in a loss of over 60 per cent of the real value of our stagnated salaries.
“The GMA calls for an urgent review of the condition of service of medical doctors and other health professionals,” he said.
Dr Serebour said the GMA in its future negotiations with the government, would propose to the government to peg all their allowances against the United States Dollar to enable them to cope with the rising cost of living and depreciation of the Cedi.
“On the specific matters of fuel pricing, the GMA expects adjustments of our allowances without any delays to reflect ex-pump prices come December 2022, in line with the implementation of the agreement for our condition of service,” he stressed.
The President revealed that there had been a surge in the number of health workers including doctors leaving the country in search of greener pastures due to poor working conditions and income levels, depleting the human resources of the country.
He said the brain drain situation was worrying and called on the government to as a matter of urgency work to address the underlying factors to help reduce the rate of emigration of medical doctors and other workers.
“The reasons for the emigration of medical doctors seem to vary with time.
A recent survey of 360 doctors currently practising in Ghana showed that about 90 per cent had never considered leaving the country for more developed countries.
“The reasons for which doctors leave Ghana include the search for better income, improved working and living conditions, better lives and school for their children, and opportunities for further education,” he added.