NLC Intervenes In Physician Assistants’ Strike Action

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has urged physician assistants and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to negotiate amicably to resolve the issue that has led to the strike action by the health workers.

The NLC expects a positive result after the first meeting between the two parties on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.

NLC’s Executive Secretary, Ofosu Asamoah, says both parties should be ready to reach a consensus to settle the issue so that physician assistants across the country can resume their duties at the various health centres.

“As a commission, we act with dispatch, and what we will do is that we will not delay in finding a solution, but the parties must also be cooperative.”

“If you’re going to a negotiation table and you say, if I don’t get this, then that’s the end of the matter; certainly resolving it might not be easy.”

“It’s one of the negotiations that you do give and take. You make concessions. So, I think they have to be open-minded, negotiate in good faith and be ready to make some sacrifices rather than taking an entrenched position before going to the table,” he said.

The Graduate Physician Assistants Association of Ghana declared an industrial strike nationwide over the rise of xenophobia, discrimination, and brutality in their profession on July 13, 2023.

According to the association, the strike action will continue if the Ministry of Health does not address the maltreatment meted out to the health group.

The leader of the association Anthony Asare Arkoh has informed the NLC that until they receive a favourable response from the ministry, they will not call off the strike.

“We’re looking at the government’s posture at the meeting. If the government comes in and speaks well before the commission, then we will withdraw the strike,” he said.

“When I say speak well, I mean the things that we’re requesting. This is a commission, the case can linger for about one or two years, and they could be adjourning.”

“Sometimes they might come in and disregard our petitions, but if they’re about to certainly tell us their plan to meet our demands, then we will call it off,” he assured.

Meanwhile, the Vice President of the Graduate Physician Association of Ghana, Emmanuel Dickson Tuffour, believes physician assistants are graduates who are well-trained in the health profession and, therefore, must be given due respect.

He criticized a directive from the Ghana Medical and Dental Council that a physician assistant cannot sign a form for a patient requiring him or her to have some rest or sick leave due to a health condition of the patient.

“If a physician assistant can treat a patient, why can’t he or she sign a form requesting the patient to have some rest after treatment?” he quizzed.

He added that the council’s scope of operation directs all physician assistants to work strictly under the supervision of a medical doctor.

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    The physician assistants must stand up against this maltreatment. The MDC has no point here. Ghana is with you the Physician assistants. Please take your actions .

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