Prseident John Dramani Mahama
Prseident John Dramani Mahama


Prseident John Dramani Mahama
Prseident John Dramani Mahama
The above disturbing question was virtually on the lips of many Ghanaians who called into various radio and television programs yesterday to share their frustrations on the ongoing strike by public health doctors, which has been described by government as illegal.

Ghanaians who posed this question could not fathom why the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress cannot crack the whip, given the recalcitrant position taken by striking doctors to hold the country to ransom by toying with the lives of the citizenry.

Also, given the entrench position government has taken not to kowtow to any blackmailing antics by the doctors, the mood of most Ghanaians was whether the Mahama-led government will continue to look on whiles many innocent Ghanaians continue to die before the necessary corrective decisions are taken to either get the doctors back into the hospitals or fire them and recruit new ones.

A texter into one of the radio programs quizzed ?what is stopping the president, John Mahama, who has taken an oath to protect and preserve the lives of Ghanaians from putting his feet down; take all the steps necessary to have the doctors back in the hospitals, even if that would require firing those who choose to remain on strike whiles, asking those interested in working to reapply??

Rather than allowing the lives of Ghanaians to be toyed with, many of the contributors were of the opinion that the Mahama government must at this stage, call the bluff of the striking doctors or risk being violently overthrown when the masses eventually get fed up. That is, when they start to see more of their compatriots suffer needless and agonizing deaths.

They say, what has so far kept the government from rebellion from the masses as a result of the ongoing strike is that, the Mahama government is currently benefiting from the ?goodwill? of the people, but, a few of them wondered ?how long that would endure?.

Already, the leadership of the public health doctors has made clear their intention to resign en mass, though they have deferred that to next two weeks after a crucial meeting last Friday.
Looking at the number of reported cases of deaths as a result of the strike, many people are wondering if the President, despite government?s announced measures to mitigate the situation, would wait for another 14 more days for a decision to be taken by doctors at which time; many more lives would have been lost.

To the relief of government in particular, and Ghanaians at large, information indicates that 40 % of the striking doctors in government hospitals are not in favor of the withdrawal of their services and have, indeed, been advocating for their colleagues and government to make concessions to see to the end of the strike.

The Mahama government must tap into this and go ahead and enforce the Labor law by not paying the doctors their August salary and subsequently, hire some of the retired professionals in the health service to compliment the 40% who are ready to work and perhaps, others among those who earlier voted in favour of the status quo, but are now willing to return to work.

Most Ghanaians without doubt believe the doctors may have a genuine case and therefore sympathize with them, especially the apolitical amongst them.

But it is also without doubt that, some among the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association with strong allegiance to the opposition New Patriotic Party are capitalizing on the doctors? grievance to make President Mahama and the NDC administration unpopular thereby, paving the way for their darling presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to emerge if even, through the back door.

Doctors in the public health sector have since June 30 embarked on strike to demand what many have described as outrageous conditions of service to be captured in the 2016 budget.

The doctors have since carried out their threat to withdraw OPD and emergency services, but could not resign en mass on the August 14, 2015 deadline as threatened. The leadership of GMA at a crucial meeting last week postponed that action to next two weeks.

There are reports that government has submitted a new proposal on the doctors? condition of service to the GMA to replace an earlier one that was rejected by the leadership of medical association.

However, many Ghanaians have warned that until President Mahama act expeditiously to end the strike, he and his government in the final analysis, risk laughing on the wrong side of their mouths.

Source : Al- Hajj


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