The Ministry of Health has appealed to the leadership of the Ghana Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) to call off their strike while negotiations continue toward resolving their grievances.
Members of GHOSPA have indicated that they will only return to work if government, through the relevant agencies, shows clear commitment to improving their working conditions.
GHOSPA declared an indefinite strike in protest to what its members described as persistent acts of injustice, unfairness and deliberate delay by the National Labour Commission (NLC) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to address outstanding issues relating to their Interim Market Premium, Grade Structure and Placement, and Conditions of Service of members.
However, in a statement released by the Ministry of Health, government said the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) was still committed to continuing negotiations, adding that GHOSPA should continue to serve the people of Ghana, the poor and vulnerable as well as distressed patients with a view to reaching an agreement with the Commission.
Speaking to radioxyzonline, the Public Relations Officer of the Health Ministry, Mr Tony Goodman, said: “The Labour Commission has sat on the matter and you know the law says a party to a negotiation must not strike, so, we are only saying that they should go back to work and in case they do not heed our call, we are only saying that managers of these hospitals… cannot embark on any strike, they should be there and ask the junior ones to dispense drugs to patients.
“Yes, government is looking at the issue. For us in the MoH, because we are not party to these negotiations, it will be very difficult to say when this will come to an end, but we are asking them to speed up their negotiations [because] at the end of the day, it affects health delivery and we don’t want our patients to suffer as a result of a breakdown of negotiations, so we are only asking them to go back.”