Conditions of service for health sector to be implemented by June – Minister

StethoscopeMr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has assured employees in the health sector that their long-awaited conditions of service would be implemented by the end of June, to ensure industrial peace and harmony in the health sector.

He explained that due to the special and critical services rendered by the health sector in saving lives, it was necessary that acceptable conditions of service were put in place to boost their morale and protect them whilst in service.

Workers in the health sector had for the past 18 years worked without any conditions of service peculiar to their job.

The Employment and Labour Minister gave the assurance at a two-day Validation Workshop of the final draft of the conditions of service for the health sector in Ghana.

The workshop, attended by all stakeholders, will validate the final document, which has taken them more than 10 years to prepare.

Public Service Commission and the Fair Wages and Salary’s Commission are taking part of the validation, to ensure that what will be agreed on in the document, will not be overly above what is permissible and ensure that provisions made are justifiable.

Mr Iddrisu expressed regret that it has taken the sector such a long time to develop this document, adding, government sees the absence of conditions of service for the health sector as an unacceptable anomaly.”

He noted that the document after the final validation would be presented to Cabinet for validation by the end of March and the President’s approval, as well as his approval for its full implementation by the end of June.

He urged all the agencies in the health sector to support the process so as to put to an end all the industrial unrests being embarked on by health workers.

He also advised the health sector to ensure a clean staff list to prevent impersonation, and said the implementation of the conditions will affect salaries and postings.

“We will therefore urge you to accept postings to the rural areas when the need comes, and also stop embarking on strikes”.

Dr Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, Minister of Health, explained that the health sector has 90,000 staff on government payroll with 75 different categories of staff, and the conditions of service developed, would be applied to all agencies of the ministry, and no agency would be allowed to offer anything outside the package provided in the developed document.

He noted that If any agency feels to offer anything outside the approved broad conditions of service, it has to apply through the Council or the Board justifying the need for the extra request, and the source of payment to the Minister of Health for consideration:.

Dr Kwasi Asabre, Deputy Director for Human Resource of the Ministry of Health, said the document was diligently put together by all stakeholders both internal and external, as well as related bodies, such as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the National Labour Commission, the Trades Union Congress, and the Ghana Employers Association, with respect to the conditions of service and CBAs, and report back to the management of the various service agencies and constituents.

He explained that with the absence of the conditions of service, the health sector was only implementing the bigger framework developed by the Public Service Commission.

He urged the members to work with due diligence, and also to let their deliberations center on issues which will bring about industrial peace and harmony in the health sector.

Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, President of the Ghana Medical Association, and Mr Stephen Corquaye President of the Government Hospital Pharmacists Association, expressed joy that the long-awaited document weas at its final stage.

They both commended the Ministers of Health and Employment and Labour Relations, fortheir keen interest in seeing to the final implementation of the document.

They also advised government to remove all the bottlenecks which resulted in strike actions.

Source: GNA

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