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GMA strike: Govt Accepts, Rejects, And Varies Doctors’ Demands

Government has finally made some concessions to the demands of striking doctors. It however varied and rejected outright some of the demands.

As it races against time to avert a threat by the doctors to resign en masse this month, government yesterday made some overtures to the doctors to convince them to resume work.

Reading out portions of documents purported to be government’s position on the doctors’ demands he intercepted, host of current affairs programme Newsfile on Joy FM/Multi TV, Samson Lardy Ayenini noted that demands that fall under categories two and three allowances were rejected by government.

Government explained that those were to be determined holistically by the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee. Secretary General of TUC, Kofi Asamoah concurred with government on that when he joined the show via phone.

Government also did not accept the book allowance which is 30% of basic salary per month because it intends establishing a well-equipped research libraries with up-to-date medical literature and journals.

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Other demands rejected by the state include: long service award; vehicle tax exemption or waiver for doctors; vehicle maintenance allowance; and malpractice insurance cover for all doctors.

On the other hand, government has accepted to pay 50% of basic salary per month as their professional allowance. The demand for 25% of basic salary per month on special risk allowance was also accepted. Doctors from the rank of a Principal Medical Officer shall be entitled to one official vehicle.

Proposal for post graduate education was also accepted by the government.

Government however preferred to give 20% of basic salary in lieu of accommodation instead of 40% requested.

The monthly fuel demand was varied as follows: 100 gallons for Snr. Specialist to Consultant was cut to 50 gallons. Government is offering 40 gallons instead of 90 gallons for Principal Medical Officer to Specialist. Also, 80 gallons for a House Officer to Snr. Medical Officer was reduced to 30 gallons.

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The doctors had also requested 20% of basic salary for call duty facilitation allowance but government says it can only meet 10% of basic salary.