In Ghana, doctors of the Korle-Bu teaching hospital in the capital, Accra who declared an indefinite strike action Monday to press home their demand for better pay have been sacked by the chief executive officer of the hospital. The doctors went on strike despite threats from government that it would dismiss or withhold salaries for those who would join in the industrial action. Meanwhile the doctors are locked in a series of meetings to decide their next move.
Doctor Hilarius Abiwu is the spokesman for the striking doctors. From the capital Accra, he told VOA that the doctors withdrew their services despite repeated appeals to the hospital authorities to rectify their terms of contract.
“The first thing I would want to say is that what we had embarked on could not be described technically as a strike, because we had taken up appointment on the 12th of April without even an appointment letter. It was only after one week of work before we had our appointment letters, and it only contained our basic salary without specifying the terms of our employment contract…so it was on this day we withdrew our services to consider whether or not we want to accept our appointment without our conditions of service or all of the terms in the contract be clearly spelt out,” he said.
Abiwu said the doctors were meeting Monday evening to decide their next move.
“Well as it is now, we are re-organizing ourselves and we are organizing an emergency meeting this evening, and we will look at the options that are available to us,” he noted.
He said all efforts to have the hospital authorities address their grievances proved futile.
“We had met with them (hospital authorities) on several occasions and written to them several letters. In fact we wrote even to all the heads of departments in the hospital to intervene. We even called some members of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council to intervene, some of whom called those who were at the helm of affairs to make them spell out clearly our terms of contract so that they could avert any industrial action. But it all fell on deaf ears because after all these options have been exhausted before we decided to withdraw our services,” he pointed out.
Abiwu said the action of the hospital authorities to dispense with the doctors’ services is unfounded.
“As a matter of fact, it’s laughable, we are surprised sort of, that because we are demanding that the terms of employment be clearly spelt out, a chief executive of a teaching hospital decides that we should be fired. For us we know that we have done nothing wrong. So we will meet and look at the available options that are available to us,” he said.