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Health Ministry schedules second meeting with doctors to end service conditions impasse

Public Relations Officer of the Health Ministry has revealed the sector minister is determined to get agitating doctors and health workers to back down on their threat to desert consulting rooms and theatres on July 1, 2015.

Tony Goodman told Joy News the Health Minister, Mr Alex Segbefia, would meet labour unions Thursday to negotiate details of conditions of service for doctors and health workers, after a similar attempt on Wednesday hit the rocks.

The health sector workers union and the doctors refused to sign a draft document on conditions of service yesterday on the basis that they were not privy to its content.

“Based on the fact that they [health sector labour unions] want to go back and further study the document, the Minister has given them [Thursday] so they can come sign the document on Friday”, Mr Goodman said.

He said the Ministry is ready to negotiate with the doctors on their conditions of service, adding that what is left is a final touch to the deal.

The doctors and the health sector workers union boycotted a planned meeting with the Health Ministry, Wednesday, a move that further strained negotiations on the doctors’ demands.

The meeting between the Health Ministry the two groups was for the doctors and health sector workers to sign a draft framework that spells out the conditions of services for doctors and health workers – a demand the unions have been making since January this year.

However the union members walked out of the meeting after the Health Ministry PRO walked into the meeting with a document asking the doctors and health workers to sign.

The workers refused.
They said they had not been part the drafting of the document and hence they could not sign. According to them they had no idea what the document was about.

Meanwhile, the doctors have given a June 30 deadline to resign en masse if their conditions of service issues are not finalised.

They claim apart from two weeks mortuary fees which they are exempt from paying when they die, they do not have any conditions of service that spells out benefits and responsibilities.

Deputy General Secretary of the GMA Dr Justice Yankson told Joy News Wednesday that when they are sick they are made to pay for health care services, buy medications as any other patient would despite the many risks they take in caring for the sick.

They have warned that they would no longer work for the state if their conditions of service is not consummated.

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