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Medical Association deny claims by Director General

Medical Association deny claims by Director General November 23, 2009
Accra, Nov. 23, GNA – The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on Monday denied that staff of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) their spouses and dependents are enjoying free medical services even if they are not insured under the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS).

In a statement to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, the Association said “The policy of free medical care is unknown both to doctors in the public sector and to their dependents”.

The statement was reacting to an allegation by the Director General of the GHS, Dr. Elias Sory, on Friday, November 23.  Dr Sory was said to have made the claim when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.

“The Ghana Medical Association wishes to inform the good people of Ghana that this statement is an unfortunate variation of the harsh realities that continue to confront our hardworking members who fall sick, sometimes in the line of duty.

“To the best of our knowledge, our members who work in the public sector continue to pay their own medical bills and that of their immediate families beyond the NHIS.

“Examples also abound of doctors working in highly infectious environments in hospitals, catching certain disease conditions and still having to fund their own health care costs.” The statement said.  The GMA expressed regret about any wrong perception that the Director General’s response may have created in the public mind.

“This statement made by the Director General of Ghana Health Service again brings to the fore the issue of non existing conditions of service document for health workers in the country that unambiguously defines the terms and conditions of their employment.

“What is not in doubt though is that currently the only condition of serve that exists for doctors is free mortuary service when one dies.” The statement asked the Director General of the GHS to publicly clarify what roles if any, public health institutions were expected to play when health professionals working in such facilities fall ill whether or not they were registered with the NHIS.

It asked the Ministry of Health and for that matter government to speed up the finalisation and implementation of the draft conditions of service document for doctors in the public sector.

The GMA expressed regret that for uncountable years there was no document that spelt out the terms and conditions of employment for health workers and described it as an unfortunate situation that ought to be remedied without delay.

Source: Modernghana

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