A renowned United States-based Ghanaian lecturer and columnist, Dr Michael Jarvis Bokor, is advocating for the privatization of public hospitals and training of doctors in Ghana.
According to him, there is no need for government to continue managing hospitals where members of the Ghana Medical Association, who go on strike at the least opportunity, are employed.
In a recent article widely circulating on the internet, Dr Bokor noted ?There is no need for the government to continue “managing” the so-called hospitals where these GMA members are employed. The government shouldn’t continue to pay these doctors or put itself and Ghanaians at their mercy now that we know how the situation has been politicized by self-seeking members of such an association or any other.?
He added that it was time government lift its hands off the management of public hospitals, and instead it should be ?turned over to consortiums that can do a better job in managing those institutions.?
The renowned writer noted that if this is done ?other analogous issues such as professional training and recruitment of doctors and paramedical staff will not be the government’s headache.?
Bits of his article reads, ?It also means that whoever seeks to become a doctor or whatever in the medical field should not depend anymore on “free tuition” or any other support net that depends on the Consolidated Fund. Elsewhere, financial aid is provided to the needy and they are required to repay such “student loans”. In that sense, the government doesn’t encumber itself with the financial needs of students hoping to become doctors. If the government doesn’t support those seeking to become lawyers, teachers, diplomats, etc. why should it do so for doctors? It should be the individual’s own affair.
?Then, upon graduation, the individual must go through the rigours of job search before being recruited. In our case when everything seems to be automatically programmed to absorb those doctors, the situation isn’t working well. Too much leeway has been given to these doctors, which is why they are over-extending themselves by laying down their tools at the least prompting.?
Dr Bokor?s comments follows ongoing strike/resignation by doctors in government facilities across the country in demand better conditions of service.
Government has, however, called on the striking the doctors to suspend their strike and continue with negotiations on their demands.
A statement signed by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu stated that government has been negotiating with GMA hence it was wrong for them to continue to be on strike while negotiations were ongoing.
?Government is of the view that while these processes are on-going, it is unfair and against the rules of labour practice for the GMA to declare a partial strike by withdrawing all outpatient services.?
Meanwhile, a labour analyst, Austin Gamey has charged government to drag the striking doctors to the National Labour Commission after several attempts to make them return to work failed.
But, Dr Bokor insisted that the right solution to the impasse is for government to end its direct management of public hospitals and cede it to privatize individuals and also privatize the training of doctors.
Source : AL- HAJJ Newspaper