Court to rule on writ against Doctors’ strike on October 25

A high court in Accra on Tuesday fixed Tuesday, October 25 for ruling on whether or not the Ghana Coalition of non-governmental organisations (GCNH) and another applicant have the capacity to sue members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), who were currently on strike.

The GCNH and  other applicant, Madam Emelia Kwao of Plot 32, Community 18, Lashibi, Accra, had gone to court to seek an order to compel members of the GMA to call of their strike in order to save lives.

Appearing in court on Thursday, Nene Amegatcher, counsel for GMA contended that both applicants did not have the capacity to sue the Association .

He argued that it was the National Labour Commission (NLC), under the National Labour Act that had the capacity to take such action.

Nene Amegatcher said for the GCNH to commence any action against the GMA it must seek authority from the NLC, and he was of the view that the NLC could not delegate its powers to anybody including the applicants.

He noted that at the moment, the NLC was negotiating with the GMA and did not think that anybody could step in.

Mr James Odartey Mills, who represented the applicants, indicated that even if there was irregularity concerning the application that did not affect the substantive issue brought before court.

The GCNH and an elderly hypertensive patient filed a motion on notice at the court seeking an order to compel the GMA to call off its on-going strike.

The applicants also prayed the court to declare the on-going strike by the defendant and its members illegal and  in an affidavit in support of the motion, the applicants said Madam Kwao, a hypertensive woman, needed regular medical care.

Madam Kwao contended that she was a registered and fully paid-up beneficiary of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

According to the affidavit, Madam Kwao and other persons like her needed to attend hospital for medical attention but that had been hampered, since the doctors in government or State health facilities had laid down their tools.

It said Madam Kwao, who was suffering from constant and repeated headaches and swollen feet, was a frequent attendant at the Adabraka Polyclinic, a public health facility in Accra.

The affidavit said due to the seriousness of her condition, she was also a regular attendant at the Ridge Hospital, another public health facility, where she had been assigned a specialist doctor.

It deposed that although there were private hospitals in town, they were too expensive for Madam Kwao and other members of the public to afford, let alone on a regular recurrent basis.

According to the affidavit, the strike called by the defendant association was negatively affecting Madam Kwao and many other citizens of the country through no fault of theirs.

It said the strike was also negatively affecting the work of the GCNH in promoting quality health care for the vulnerable in the various communities in the country.

The affidavit said reports from members of GCNH in all the 10 Regions of Ghana indicated that the strike was posing great risk to the health of persons in areas where the GCNH was working, particularly pregnant women and especially those who needed to undergo caesarian operations.

Source: GNA

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