Dr Joseph Teye Nuertey, Volta Regional Director of Health has stated that it is unfair to pay all medical doctors the same salaries whether they work in the urban or rural areas,
According to him, the salaries of medical doctors should be graduated in favour of those working in the rural areas.
Dr Nuertey said medical doctors in the rural areas are under constant pressure to serve several thousands of patients daily, without any respite.
He noted that the doctors also face a number of disadvantages and challenges because of where they engage their services.
Dr. Nuertey made the remark at the just ended National Forum on the sustainability of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) in Ho on Tuesday.
He further noted that the practice of paying allowances to trainees in health training institutions including medical students should be stopped.
According him, students should rather be encouraged to take loans to meet their financial commitments.
“We are paying people in training allowances, why don’t we let those in training go to the private sector for loans. And after the training we pay them salaries?” Dr. Nuertey quizzed.
But the General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) Dr. Frank Serebour, disagreed with Dr. Nuertey’s proposal and said as part of the single spine pay policy, there was an incentive aspect for rural doctors which have not been implemented. “If that aspect has been implemented, that issue of all doctors taken the same salary wouldn’t have come on board” he stated.
He further noted that medical training is not just classroom training but rather on the job training which requires students to go to the wards and attend to patients day and night just like other medical officers; therefore it will be unfair for students to take loans to facilitate their training. “They are supposed to be sponsored and even given more because they do work as residents; they are at the hospital around the clock” Dr. Siribour emphasized.
Meanwhile, the Forum on the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) implementation review ended on Wednesday with a communique, jointly signed the minister of employment and labour relations, Nii Armah Ashietey, Kofi Asamoah of Ghana TUC and Mr. Alex Frimpong for Ghana Employers Association.
Among the recommendations is the removal of Public Universities and other government subvented agencies from the Single Spine Pay Policy as part of measures to deal with mounting government wage bill.