Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, August 03, 2015
Dr Frank Serebuor, General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), lost his cool during a radio interview last Friday when he descended heavily on a National Democratic Congress (NDC) communication officer whom he said was running doctors down without any justification.
“For all you know, this idiot in your studio receives free fuel, free call credit and free accommodation. Which public sector doctor has free accommodation? We pay rent to the government,” Dr Serebuor charged, referring to Yeboah Boateng, an NDC communicator, on Hot FM, an Accra-based radio station, during its political programme, ‘Dwene Ho Biom,’ hosted by Isaac Boamah Darko.
No Love Lost
There has been no love lost between the Mahama NDC government and doctors over the conditions of service including end of service benefits of the latter.
In the ensuing confusion, some NDC communication officers, with support from the presidency, have released a document which they claim contained what is termed as ‘outrageous’ demands from the GMA, but the doctors rebutted and said the contents of the document were not what they presented on their improved conditions of service.
A presidential staffer, Stanislav Xoese Dogbe, had sought to downplay the doctors’ demands by putting out figures which the GMA leadership had come out to deny, even though the government appointees had equally failed to tell Ghanaians how much they also draw at the expense of the taxpayer each month.
The striking doctors are asking the likes of Stan Dogbe to tell Ghanaians how much they receive as salaries and perks.
They also accused the Mahama administration of using their propagandists to sow seed of discord between doctors and the public instead of listening to the genuine concerns that they have put on the negotiation table and offer what the government can accommodate.
Matters came to a head when Yeboah Boateng, who kept fumbling with the facts of the issue, took his turn to make his point and ended up insulting the GMA President, Dr Kwabena Poku-Adusei, for leading the strike.
“Is Dr Poku-Adusei who has risen through the ranks to become the President of GMA telling us that he doesn’t know what is in their contract? They should quit the job. We are tired of them. I am serious about what I am saying,” the NDC man boasted.
“Are they telling us that they are going on strike and that the soldiers can also go on strike? The doctors are not fair to Ghanaians at all. Is that how they want to treat mother Ghana? They have signed a Hippocratic Oath so why are they now allowing money to influence their work?” Yeboah Boateng queried.
He said, “They can leave the job so that those who love the NDC government and President Mahama can do the job for us,” and alleged that the GMA leadership “is imposing its will on some of their members. Some of the members are not happy with what Dr Poku-Adusei and his gang are doing.”
The NDC propagandist claimed that the GMA is “doing this to make sure their private hospitals can flourish,” and described their demands as outrageous.
“Some doctors even take salaries more than high court judges yet they are still complaining.
“They are not being fair to teachers who developed them to become doctors. It is not even about salary but rather end of service benefits; and they are on strike.”
Dr Serebuor, who was called into the programme, countered what he said were “stupid” things being said about doctors by the NDC man and his colleagues.
“Tell that idiot in the studio that he is not the one who decides what we should do. We decide for ourselves what we should do. If he is tired of us he can go anywhere and chew leaves which are also medicinal,” he fumed.
“It is sad that we have to do this to ourselves. I’m not sure all the doctors own private hospitals. Even the law does not allow you to work in the public sector and still own a medical facility of any kind. Occasionally, some doctors will use their free time to go and practise in some private hospitals but not all doctors.
“There are some people in this country who talk trash and think that they can fool Ghanaians all the time. They go to the radio stations and say all sorts of things against doctors and get away with them. These are the stupid people who make this country difficult for everybody. They hide behind politics and say all sorts of things against professionals.
“We are sick and tired of these politicians. When they were bringing their stupid propaganda of our demands why didn’t they bring their counter proposal? The police administration he is trying to compare, don’t they retire on their salaries? “Which doctor working for the government retires on his salary?”
Dr Serebuor, who could not restrain himself, continued: “A fool like you, don’t you collect free fuel for your car? The salary you take for just doing propaganda for your party, is it not bigger than what doctors take? These are the foolish people the media allow; and that is why this country has degenerated. These idiots are trying to tell us what we should do in this country.
“These guys don’t even work yet they are paid for doing propaganda. We work saving lives to the best of our abilities and we are not rewarded for our efforts, yet these people hop from radio station to radio station denigrating others and at the end they are paid huge salaries and when we genuinely complain they want to attack us.”
Dr Serebuor added, “They should take their sickening propaganda and lies to the hospitals and work in our absence.
“We will not let them dictate the way we should go. We have decided what we want to do and they can do what they like. We are withdrawing all OPD services and if they want us to descend in the gutters to them we are ready to do so. What kind of nonsense is that? It is because we don’t respond to the sickening propaganda they think they can take us for a ride?
“Doctors in this country worked for 11 months without salary. How many people in the military or the police worked for 11 months and were not paid?”