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Physicians Threaten Strike   
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Sherry Ayittey, Health Minister
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Patients in rural areas of the country risk losing medical services or even their lives as Physicians Assistants [PAs] in the country are lacing their boots for a sit-down strike anytime soon.

The Physician Assistants’ threat of a possible strike is as a result of what they consider as ‘unfair treatment and gross disrespect showed to them by the Accountant General (AG) and the Ministry of Health (MoH).

According to the aggrieved Physician Assistants, their September salaries were withdrawn from their bank accounts by the AG due to what the AG says is an order from the MoH.

Thinking it was a general salary delay, the Physician Assistants waited till they realized that their salaries were paid into their accounts and latter withdrawn by the AG department.

In the quest to seek answers, the group chanced upon information that a ‘minus sign had been placed before their salaries which meant that their salaries had been deducted.’

“Upon further enquiries, we were told that there was an order from the MoH that our salaries should be withheld,” the group told this reporter.

Explaining their present predicament to Today, the aggrieved Physician Assistants recalled that they were placed on the Grade 18 low of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) in 2010 but the AG realised this year [2013] that it had erred in placing them on that grade.

They noted that they [PAs] were then immediately placed on Grade 15 high since government was experiencing serious financial problems.

They Physician Assistants however argued that it was not their fault that they were placed on the wrong grade by the AG department hence they should not be any changes in their salaries.

“Why are they being so harsh and wicked in retrieving whatever amount they lost; did we force them to wrongly place us on that grade?,” the Physician Assistants queried.

“… we expected the minister who gave that order to call and inform us of their intentions since it would, at least, be fair to us. Or couldn’t they have made the deductions in bits other than taking our whole salaries, how do they want us to survive in the villages,” they enquired angrily.

The Physician Assistants, who are mostly based in remote areas where some doctors and nurses refuse to serve, do not know how long their salaries are going to be unpaid.
Source: Today

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