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Doctors in Ghana have entered the third week in their nationwide strike. The Ghana Medical Association has declared the strike to press home Doctors' demand for an enhance salaries on the newly introduced Pay policy, the Single Spine salary structure. According to the doctors, government, represented by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has been dragging it feet on the implementation of some 'terms' on the salary mappings for medical personnel.Issues of relatively and the differences- in-pay between junior, senior, specialists doctors and administrators as well as directors have been one of the bone of contention. The issue has actually got to a head after the doctors have refused to listen to the pleas of all well meaning Ghanians( including the President,members of the Council of State,MPs and Religious leaders) to go back work.The repercussions of the strike have been deadly as hundreds of people seeking health care are left to their fate. A number of deaths have been reported as a result of the industrial action. Patients who can afford are forced to cough out hundreds of Ghana Cedis at Private health centers. The 37 Military and the Police Hospitals which have over the strike period been the only public health sanctuaries have been over stretched to their seemingly limits. The case is now at an arbitration stage where the Labour Commission backed by Law is trying to iron out the "grievances" between the doctors and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission. Government's ability to pay the demanded salaries adjustment to the doctors is one thorny issue that is delaying the resolution of the impasse. According to government's spokespersons and the Ministers in charge of the nation's Cedis, government is being careful not to derail the economic gains made so far. Hence the need to tread cautiously while meeting the needs of the doctors and organised labour. Some NGOs in their bid to get the doctors back to their wards dragged the doctors to court but the court asserted that the NGOs do not have the legal authority to sue the doctors as the constitution only mandates the Labour Commission to send the medical doctors to court if arbitration fails. It is rather ironic that the the nation's doctors could defer the Labour Law which loudly prescribes Not strike for workers tagged as essential service providers with doctors as the number one on the essential service workers list. It is the hope of all Ghanians and non-citizens resident in Ghana that the end to this strike is in sight. The sick cannot wait.

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