By Yussif Ibrahim, GNA
Konongo-Odumase (Ash), July 11, GNA - Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Minister of Health, has called for industrial peace in the health sector to ensure uninterrupted healthcare delivery in the country.
He said industrial peace in the sector was critical to the provision of quality healthcare to the citizenry.
“The consequences of industrial actions in the health sector, could be dire sometimes since it led to the loss of human lives, hence the Ministry was taking pragmatic measures to prevent such unpleasant situations”.
Mr Manu was addressing the staff of the Konongo-Odumase Government Hospital in the Asante-Akim Central Municipality as part of his four-day working visit to the Ashanti Region.
He is in the Region to inspect ongoing health projects, interact with health workers and other stakeholders to learn at first hand the challenges they faced in their work.
The Health Minister would particularly inspect the ongoing five district hospital projects at Konongo, Tepa, Kumawu, Fomena and Bekwai which had stalled for some time due to a number of reasons.
Mr Manu who was responding to a suggestion by the Municipal Director of Health, Mr Martin Osei Safo that the Ministry should revive the health fund to offer some protection to health workers, said the introduction of the Fund was fiercely resisted by the workers.
The idea behind the health fund was to provide financial support to health workers in the event of seeking medical attention abroad.
Under that arrangement, one per cent of their salaries would have been deducted from their salaries into a pool of fund, however such a laudable policy meant to protect workers from eventualities, was vehemently kicked against by the beneficiaries.
The Minister said in the interest of industrial harmony, the proposal was shelved to allow for broader consultations and general consensus.
He said his early days in office as minister was characterized by incessant picketing at the premises of the Ministry by unemployed nurses who would not accept any explanation apart from their financial clearance.
"We have cleared a chunk of the backlog of unemployed nurses when we took office and it is our hope that a total of 50,000 would be employed by the end of the year," the Minister stated.
He implored the workers to abide by their code of ethics and render selfless services to their patients.