The Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA) has temporarily suspended its statewide strike in opposition to a Ghana Medical and Dental Council proposal to modify Act 857.
The Association objects to the law because it will make them subject to the Medical and Dental Council’s oversight, which could limit their ability to conduct independent business.
After the National Labour Commission (NLC) intervened and ordered the Ministry of Health to meet with the Association to discuss its concerns within 28 days, the Association decided to call off the strike.
During a news conference, Peter Akuduge Ayamba, the association’s national president, verified this.
“We are saying that based on the ruling and the intervention of the Labour Commission and the fact that we are law-abiding citizens and a union for that matter, we are calling on our membership to resume work.”
“The National Labour Commission heard us and has directed that within 28 days they should engage us and report to them on how to address the concerns that we have raised.”
“We are not happy as an association with the posture of the government and the fact that they have been dragging their feet all this while, that’s why we are where we are now.”
In case the ministry doesn’t agree to their requests, he further threatened that the Association will go back on strike or implement a work-to-rule policy.
“We are temporarily ending this strike, and if by the Labour Commission’s deadline nothing is done, we will explore all other options,” the statement reads.
Therefore, we are stating that we will investigate all other interventions, including our non-renewal stance that we adopted, according to which with their intervention we had to return.
In order to follow policy, he added, “we are also looking into the possibility of doing nothing more or less than what is required of us.”
On July 19, 2023, physician assistants in Ghana announced a national strike and stopped providing their services in all healthcare facilities.
Due to the lack of physician assistants to handle most cases, this strike left a hole in most healthcare facilities, especially those in rural regions. As a result, nurses in these hospitals were forced to make the challenging decision to refer the majority of cases.
During this time, patients were also left stranded.