The opposition New Patriotic Party is appealing to striking doctors to call off their strike.
At a press conference organised at the party’s headquarters, Tuesday the party’s General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong expressed worry about the dire impact the strike and subsequent mass resignation of the doctors would have on the ordinary citizens.
Mr Agyepong therefore implored doctors to return to work and save the lives of the ordinary citizens who will be at the receiving end of this strike action.
He also implored government, to as a matter of urgency, resolve the grievances of the doctors.
The party’s General Secretary was disappointed with how the government has handled the issue thus far.
Read below the full statement:
NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY ON STRIKES ON THE LABOUR FRONT
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, We thank you very much for your response to our invitation at very short notice.
The New Patriotic Party is extremely concerned about the unfortunate developments currently happening on the labour front, with increasing number of strikes from public workers such as State Attorneys, Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists. We are informed that Teachers and other public sector workers have also stated their intention to embark on similar strikes very soon.
It is quite clear that the increasing labour unrest is not taking place in a vacuum. It is the culmination of the incompetent handling of the Ghanaian economy coupled with unprecedented levels of corruption witnessed under the NDC government led by President John Mahama. This state of hopelessness has found expression in the high cost of living faced by Ghanaian workers, deteriorating conditions of service, widespread unemployment and unavailability of basic supplies in Schools and offices. This notwithstanding the fact that this government has had access to huge resources in terms of revenue from taxes, cocoa, gold and oil as well as record levels of borrowing.
The blame for the current spate of industrial strikes therefore lies squarely with the government and not with the workers. The government has proven to be very insensitive to the plight of workers and has shown bad faith in negotiating with workers.
This latest example of the leadership crisis plaguing this country has been made manifest in the strike actions being embarked on by almost every aspect of the public health sector. The public health sector is one of the most important pillars of our national development. Clearly, the unprofessional manner in which government appointees and their surrogates are handling this sensitive issue leaves much to be desired. Their penchant to rain insults and cast innuendos only serves to heighten tensions.
During the tenure of the NPP administration, President Kufuor exercised his best endeavours and engaged in constructive dialogue with workers. The NPP respected the value and productivity of all workers and as such we were able to stem the brain drain in the health sector. This was achieved by gradually enhancing the conditions of service of health workers.
Ladies & gentlemen of the press, things are really in disarray. As of now many nurses, pharmacists and other trained health workers who completed their training in 2013 have not been absorbed by the public health sector although many public health institutions especially those in the countryside are yearning for them. This development is causing preventable deaths of many Ghanaians especially folks living in deprived communities and rural areas in the country.
We urge the government to treat the matter of an essential service with urgency. The situation where medical personnel are not paid for eleven months, where pharmacist conditions of service are not concluded in four years, where doctors’ proposals lie on the table for over eight months cannot be regarded as government that is serious about resolving the concerns of the health sector. It is time for the President to sit up and ensure that sustainable solutions are found to the many problems in the sector.
We wish to take this opportunity to appeal to various health professionals in the country to exercise maximum restraint and consider the plight of the poor and afflicted and continue to work under this difficult period.
The New Patriotic Party has the enviable track record of better managing the economy, rewarding productivity and providing a listening ear to workers. What we are witnessing today on the labour front are the consequences of bad economic management and corruption.
By the grace of God, hope is around the corner and the New Patriotic Party government in January 2017 under Nana Akufo-Addo’s leadership will implement effective policies to address problems in the sector. Under the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo, we will grow the economy, create more jobs and improve the conditions of service of Ghanaian workers.
God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.
Thank you and God bless us all.
KWABENA AGYEI AGYEPONG