The Public Relations Officer of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital [KATH] has dismissed the threat of strike by aggrieved junior doctors of the hospital, giving the assurance that their salary arrears would be paid.
Dr. Kwame Frimpong said the Ministry of Health has given an assurance of payment through a letter as demanded by the doctors. He is, however, unable to give any timelines for the payment.
“The ministry has formally issued a letter to indicate that it is going to pay the two months arrears: Therefore, I don’t think that the strike will come to pass. We will meet the executives of the junior doctors today to show them the letter, so they calm their nerves. Even if the government is unable to act, this hospital will step in and act for our doctors.” He was speaking to Prince Minkah on the Morning Xpress of Radio XYZ on Monday, 21st August, 2017, on the threat of a strike threat by junior doctors on “housemanship” at KATH. The junior doctors are demanding to see a document from the hospital that clearly commits to the payment of their salary arrears before they would withdraw from their intended strike.
Dr. Henry Adjei-Mensah, the President of the Medical Students Association, said the doctors were appointed by KATH to commence work in September 2016 when the hospital was in dire need of doctors, with the assumption that the financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance, through the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), would ask them to start the Housemanship in September 2016. According to him, they started the work hoping the hospital will facilitate their financial clearance from the Ministry but the payment has not been done after 12 months and the CAGD is currently saying it needs approval from the Ministry of Finance to do so.
Dr. Kwadwo Faka Djan, a Senior Secretary of the Junior Doctors Group of KATH, speaking to XYZ News, said they are mindful of the consequences of a strike on patients and are “desperately hopeful” that they don’t get to a point where they have to actually go on strike.
A cross-section of the general public in the region have expressed grave concern about this development and are hoping that the impasse between the Junior Doctors and the hospital administration would be quickly resolved to avert any loss of life, as has been recorded in past instances when Medical professionals went on strike.