The strike action by Ghana?s public health sector medical doctors has taken a new turn following a writ filed at an Accra Fast Track High Court challenging the legality of their action, local media reported here Thursday.

Doctors
Doctors

Listowel Nana Kusi-Poku, General Secretary of the United Front Party (UFP), a minority political party, filed the writ on August 6 at the Labor and Industrial Division of the Accra Fast Track High Court, seeking the legality of the action of members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

The UFP General Secretary says he is hopeful the court will order the striking doctors to go back to work.
Lawyer for the plaintiff, Oliver Atsu Abada, told journalists that his client, who is a potential patient, had every right to sue.

“My client is an individual who feels aggrieved by the action taken by the doctors and he feels that, as a potential patient, he has every right to seek clarification from court to know whether the actions they have taken is justified and whether the court wants to give him a hearing.

?I always say that this is a moral issue. They have filed a conditional appearance to indicate that they have a problem with the writ,? Abada said.

The Court has adjourned the case to August 26 after lawyers for the GMA had requested for some time to file an application to oppose the writ.

The GMA lawyers in court on Thursday however questioned the right of the UFP General Secretary to drag members of the association to court over their nationwide strike.

The doctors say the conditional appearance is to give them time to put together the necessary documents but others see it as a ploy to delay the case brought against them.

However, Dr Yankson says filing for conditional appearance is not an attempt to delay proceedings as some would seek to suggest.

“When we come back the next time, we will put all the reasons down for the court to know. The rule gives you a period within which to file all the process you have. And that’s what we are going to do between now and the adjourned date. This isn’t strange or against the rules so why are you saying this is a way to drag the case. We need to do what is right,” he stated.

Ghana?s public sector medical doctors have been on strike for about two weeks now over stalled negotiations on their conditions of service.

Meanwhile, President John Dramani Mahama has described the strike as illegal, and urged the doctors to return to the negotiation table.

As a result of the strike that began two weeks ago, patients have been turned away from various public health facilities, leading to death in some cases.

A few public health facilities that are functioning, such as the Police Hospital and the 37 military Hospital have been working under pressure attending to hundred of patients reporting there.

The GMA is expected on Friday, August 14, to announce its next line of action at a general meeting to deliberate on counter proposals on their conditions of service presented to them by the government.

Source: Xinhua

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