Doctors beg court for time over UFP writ

 

DOCTORS1Lawyers for the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have requested for some time to file an application to oppose a writ asking an Accra High Court to declare the doctors’ ongoing strike as illegal.

In court yesterday the GMA lawyers also questioned the right of the General Secretary of the United Front Party (UFP), Listowel Nana Kusi, to drag members of the Association to court over their nationwide strike.

The court granted the doctors’ request for more time and adjourned the case to August 26.

“When we come back the next time, we will put down all the reasons [why the complainant has no locus] …we can’t disclose that here,” said Deputy General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson, who was also one of the counsel for the association.

Meanwhile, Lawyer for Mr. Kusi, Oliva Atsu Abada, is hopeful the court will grant his client’s request.

According to him, the point raised by the GMA that his client has no locus to file the writ is unfounded.

“There are people in this country who do not have any engagement or employment with certain individuals have proceeded to court and the courts have given them a hearing. I believe my client finds himself in a similar situation,” said Mr. Abada.

Apart from a request to declare the strike by the GMA as illegal, Mr. Kusi-Poku is also seeking an order compelling the GMA to return to work and to stay at work until the conclusion of service conditions negotiations with government.

The writ, dated August 6, and filed at the labour and industrial division of the Accra High Court notes that the strike by the GMA is “quite disturbing in view of the crucial role medical doctors play in any nation’s life and wondered if a strike action should not be the last resort especially since it had not heard of any negotiations between the

Government or its representatives who had broken down preceding the announcement that the defendant was embarking on a strike action.”

The GMA started a nationwide strike on July 30 which they threaten could lead to mass resignation if their demands for improved conditions of service are not met.

Although there have been negotiations with government to get them to go back to public hospitals across the country, progress has eluded both parties.

A General Assembly meeting on August 14 by the GMA would determine whether the public sector doctors would resign or not.

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