The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament is questioning the government why it is turning to Cuban doctors to save the precarious health situation in the country when a similar endeavour in the 80’s did not benefit the State.
“The experiment of inviting Cuban medical brigades when confronted with a similar situation in the 80’s was not beneficial to the State in the long run,” Dr. Richard Anane, Ranking Member of the Select Committee on Health, who addressed a press conference in Accra Thursday over the ‘State of Health Care Delivery Care in the country’, said.
On Tuesday, Health Minister, Alex Segbefia, announced that the Government of Ghana has contacted the Republic of Cuba to release 177 doctors to assist it with health care delivery as striking public doctors refuse to return to the consulting rooms.
Mr. Segbefia also revealed that other Cuban doctors who are already in the country and have completed their service will be retained.
This, he noted, will help “reduce the pressure in quasi-government hospitals.”
“As we work to protect lives and restore normalcy, we are also retaining all the Cuban doctors who have completed their rotation and were programmed to leave for Cuba,” Segbefia noted.
But the Minority argued that such a stop-gap measure would not help improve the situation caused by the striking doctors.
They therefore, advised the government to be guided by history and immediately take steps to win back the confidence of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to enable both parties return to the negotiation table and work out their difference amicably.
They also urged the government to give the GMA some level of assurance by granting them some of their demands to enable them return to work immediately whilst negotiations continue.
That aside, they implored on the striking doctors to rescind their decision and return to the consulting rooms since lives lost can never be brought back to life when government meets their demands and they resume their normal duties.
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the umbrella body of public sectors doctors, has been on strike for three weeks now over their conditions of service.
Services to the OPDs and Emergency situations have all been grounded with the exception of in-patients (patients on admission).
The doctors have threatened to resign en masse if the government fails to grant them their demands.
Their negotiations with government have stalled, painting a gloomy picture about the situation.
The doctors are said to have rejected a proposal submitted to them last weekend.
Reports are rife that over 500 lives have been lost as a result of the situation.
The government has described the strike as illegal and noted that it cannot be coerced to heed to the demands of the doctors. Credit: Kasapafmonline.com