The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has maintained that it would no longer enter into any verbal agreement with the Fair Wages and Salary Commission in pressing home their demands.LOK

Frank Sreboa, the General Secretary of GMA, indicated on Joy FM?s Top Story on Monday that the Association has lost faith in the Commission because the latter had on several occasions failed to honour its side of their agreement.

The Ghana Medical Association has withdrawn outpatient services as it embarks on a nationwide strike over salary distortions concerning the conversion difference and market premium starting from Monday.

Head of grievance and negotiations at the Fair Wages and Salary Commission, Cornelius Yawson, had earlier stated that the Commission was ready to go by a ruling by the National Labour Commission (NLC) to pay doctors what is due them.

He said the NLC last week Wednesday directed the FWSC to pay the doctors the same market premium as was paid in 2010 and 2011.

?We have no problem at all with this ruling; we are going to enforce it,? Cornelius Yawson said.

He announced that the Commission would write to the Finance Ministry before the 15th of this month with the hope that the striking doctors would get their request by the end of February.

But Dr Sreboa thinks it is important every agreement is put on paper.

?If it is on paper, we will be happy to really [rescind our decision] so they should put everything on paper and sign because these days oral tradition is not something that we go by.?

Dr Sreboe explained that last week?s ruling was to ?reinforce NLC?s awards way back in November 2011, [which the Commission had not abided by] so this ruling is not a new ruling.?

Expiating on the market premium and conversion difference, which are in contention, he averred, ?you cannot use market premium as a conversion difference anywhere?conversion difference is paid to anybody whose basic salary is lower on SSSS compared to his previous salary? market premium is paid in lieu of profession whose job is in scarcity. So that is totally different?.

Cornelius Yawson further explained that the deduction being taken from doctors? SSNIT contribution made them ?worse off? in their basic salary after they were migrated onto the SSSS. He said, therefore, ?it was decided among all of us that instead of giving them the conversion difference we will give them an interim market premium, this is in lieu of convention difference?

But he said: ?At one point the doctors were saying that give us also, in addition to the market premium, give us the conversion difference, and we thought that would be double payment.?

Meanwhile, reports across the country indicate that the strike is taking a toll on most patients especially those on the National Health Insurance Scheme who cannot afford services at private facilities.

Source: Joy Online

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