The Ghana Medical Association has kicked against moves by government, to have district assemblies across the country pay the salaries of medical doctors.
According to the Association, the move cannot be sustained. The doctors are currently paid by central government.
Health Minister, Sherry Ayittey says doctors working in the various districts would be paid by the assemblies. She explains this forms part of government?s decentralization policy. She was speaking on Thursday at?a stakeholders? meeting in the Brong Ahafo Regional capital, Sunyani.
“This is the time to assess the capacity of districts to manage these hospitals. It will not be full transfer but at least it will be cost sharing, hoping that the assemblies might eventually take over the salaries of doctors and key medical personnel,” she said.
Ms. Ayittey said the project will be piloted in phases in some assemblies that have enough revenue to support the decentralisation programme before it is fully enrolled.
“The decentralisation process is to make the assemblies autonomous [sub-provinces] so the districts should be able to raise their own resources from taxes…that they can use to support the salaries of doctors,” she said.
But president of the GMA, Dr. Kwabena Opoku Adusei told Joy News the announcement is “very funny” and a “distraction”.
According to him, the doctors will not be distracted by the new development aimed at covering up government failure to address issues regarding their conditions of service since 2011.
“It [the decision] sounds very funny and it’s coming from somebody who is not well informed,” the GMA president angrily replied.
“Does that mean that eventually MPs [Members of Parliament] must be paid by the assemblies and constituencies?”
“They [government] are just thinking about things that cannot even work…I think that they don’t even need to waste our time on this. When the time comes we’ll see how we will also work according to our schedule,” Dr. Opoku Adusei stated.