Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Should Callous, Unreasonable And Disrespectful Doctors Be Working In Government Hospitals In Ghana?

It is unfortunate that many members of the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), are becoming increasingly strident in their public utterances.

They are also flailing and striking out in all directions against those they think are somehow unsupportive of the strike action they have embarked upon - because such individuals and organisations, either speak out against it, or urge the GMA to call it off.

The GMA's leadership's disrespectful attitude towards their critics, is most unfortunate - and smacks of arrogance of the worst sort: in a society that accords medical doctors such great respect. Why attack the National Peace Council's chairperson, for example? Monstrous.

What do they gain by insulting the Catholic Health Service - and by extension the Catholic Church: which are of the view that human life is sacrosant, and that the needy must be helped, and suffering in society, abated?

The question discerning minds ought to ponder over is: Will the sharp tongues of the current leadership of the  GMA  be able to stop posterity from judging them? Definitely not - and history will find them wanting for abandoning sick people to die. Doctors trading insults with the public, really is sickening.

The GMA cannot hold our nation to ransom -  and must not be allowed to do so.

Having said that, it is also important to make the point that it is wrong for anyone to say that the GMA's leadership, is being manipulated by the New Patriotic Party (NPP). That is patently slanderous - and we must condemn all  those who make such statements. It insults the intelligence of the GMA's leadership - and that cannot be right.

They are very clever people - and dangerous because they are prepared to allow innocent people to die: in order to achieve the ends they seek. No one should underrate them.

That is why we must not dismiss out of hand, the suggestion by some that the intransigence of the GMA's leadership, is political zealotry dressed up as concern for the future of young doctors - by jaundiced and highly-politicised medical doctors who are fanatical supporters of the NPP: obsessed with helping to remove the current government from power.

Furthermore, neither should we  be skeptical of those  who insist that the GMA's leadership are pursuing  a hidden agenda: helping to create a Ghanaian equivalent of Britain's winter of discontent, in which endless public-sector strikes by labour unions, led to the defeat of Prime Minister James Callaghan's Labour government in the 1979 election - and the election of Margaret Thatcher as the UK's first woman prime minister: by a weary and much-traumatised electorate in Britain.

If that is true, then it behoves the government of the day, to act to protect those Ghanaians who are too poor, to afford to attend hospitals in the private healthcare sector, when they fall ill - and could die if left unattended by public-sector doctors.

For that reason, the government has a moral obligation, to  take the GMA on - in order to save the lives of those too poor to access hospitals in the private healthcare sector.

Since it is now obvious that the GMA's leadership is not prepared to compromise, the time has now come for the government to act swiftly, to end the impasse - by giving striking public-sector doctors an altimatum: to either return to work or be sacked from their jobs.

The government can then set its own conditions for employing those of them who want to reapply to work in government hospitals again - and it should include an undertaking never to embark on strike action: if it will deny patients from receiving treatment in government hospitals.

The government must take a cue from the Catholic Health Service - and take steps to protect the human rights of innocent people in Ghana who become sick and could die if left unattended by doctors. All human life is of equal value. Like the rich in society who fall ill, poor sick people too, have a right to life.

The government must act to protect the lives of all such Ghanaians across the nation - by ensuring that doctors in the public-sector can never again embark on strike action that endangers lives and denies the sick treatment.

Enough is enough. No one in this country must be allowed to toy with the lives of Ghanaians. Callous,  unreasonable and disrespectful medical doctors (with overblown ideas about themserlves, and playing party politics, under cover), should not be working in government hospitals, anywhere in Ghana. Some of us have had enough of this egregious and abominable callousness, and the insufferable arrogance, being displyed by doctors paid from a much-shrunken public purse. Period.

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