Health Minister, Alban Bagbin

GOVERNMENT SAYS it has written a cheque to be paid into the extra duty allowance accounts of consultants at both the Komfo Anokye and Korle-Bu teaching hospitals following an emergency Labour Commission meeting with representatives of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the MoH and Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).

According to a Ghana News Agency report, a statement issued by the Ministry of Health on Friday said despite severe cash flow constraints, the minister soon after the meeting directed payment into the accounts.

Minister of Health, Alban Bagbin had said government was not going to pay any money to the striking consultants describing their demands as ?blood money.?

However, after the crippling effect of the industrial action which brought healthcare delivery at KATH to a halt, Mr. Bagbin ate humble pie and backed down on his obstinate posture, ordering payment for the striking consultants.

The ministry said government therefore expected the leadership of the medical association to implement the third directive of the Labour Commission which was to call off the strike action by the consultants at KATH and immediately resume normal duties.

?While active steps are being taken to collaborate with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure that outstanding allowances owed the consultants for the second quarter of 2012 are paid within two weeks as further directed by the National Labour Commission, the ministry is calling on the consultants to honour their part of the bargain by returning to work,? the statement said.

It said government through the ministry was working hard in collaboration with the FWSC to streamline the current challenges faced by health worker emoluments under the single spine salary arrangement.

The ministry therefore called on all stakeholders in the health sector to exercise restraint and not give up on their patients and country.

Striking consultants had expressed concern about comments made by Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Animah Wilson that their action was politically motivated.

On Friday, Animah Wilson told Joy Fm the action by the consultants was politically motivated.

She could not fathom why only consultants at KATH in the Ashanti region ? the ?world bank? of the opposition New Patriotic Party had embarked on the strike.

She was convinced the consultants were playing politics with the lives of innocent Ghanaians.

Ms. Wilson was also unhappy with serial callers who she claimed were using the strike to spite the ruling government.

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