The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is considering another industrial action due to what they claim to be delays by the Court to adjudicate a case brought against them by National Labour Commission (NLC).
NLC dragged GMA to the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court in April over the doctors’ refusal to call of a strike that lasted 15 days after a series of negotiations with government over their market premium, reduced pensions and conversion differences – following their migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS)- yielded no results.
The NLC sued the GMA at the High Court seeking a declaration that the GMA strike was unlawful and, therefore, unwarranted.
The Commission also prayed the court to restrain the doctors from embarking on future strikes because they are essential service providers.
An emergency National Executive Council meeting of the GMA on April 14, 2013 decided on the withdrawal of out-patient services from April 15, 2013 and the full withdrawal of out-patient, in-patient and emergency services from April 22, 2013.
Although the case is still ongoing at the Fast Track High Court, the doctors say their patience is running out.
General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Frank Serebour, told Joy News the Association is considering many options including defying the Court to embark on another strike.
“It appears that once you end up going to Court that means that basically your hands are tied”, he told Joy News’ Fred Smith.
According to him, it appears government, led by the Labour Commission, has taken them to Court to prevent them from “exploring other options” for the resolution of their grievances.
He said for over two months, no progress has been made with the ongoing Court case, stressing that “once justice is delayed, justice is denied”.
Dr Serebour said although embarking on another industrial action could be a clear offence, they are ready to pay the price.
“After all we cannot remain in court ad infinitum”, he said.
By the end of next week, GMA says it will come out with a statement on their next step of action.