Doctors call off strike at TamaleTeaching Hospital
Juniors doctors at the Tamale Teaching Hospital who embarked on a strike on 18th September, 2013 in protest for unpaid allowances in excess of 15 months , have called off the strike two days into it . According to the president of the junior doctors association, Dr Bentil Awe Wewoli an agreement was reached between hospital management and the doctors to resume duty whilst a task force is set up to facilitate payment of outstanding allowances. Dr Bentil stressed the growing frustration among junior house officers who depend on these allowances to get by while waiting for government to process pay their salaries. The allowances comprise fuel, (20gallons a month) feeding and motivational allowances . In several informal communications between management and the doctors, management has indicated its intention not to pay the motivational allowance. This is because at the going rate management is satisfied with doctor workforce and does not see the need to entice more doctors to stay with allowances. In the not so distant past the hospital through the former CEO had to use means such as motivational allowances to attract and encourage doctors to work in the hospital. The simple explanation given for the delay in paying allowances was the lack of funds from hospital coffers. In a memorandum of understanding reached between management and the doctors a proposal to slash down the fuel allowance from 20 gallons to 10 was advanced by management. Management also proposed the complete scraping of the motivational allowance for house officers in order to consider an upward review for medical officers. The doctors replied that these proposals maybe considered only if the outstanding allowances are paid and such changes are communicated to them formally in writing rather than hearsay. In my last communication (6 pm this evening )with doctor Bentil who was in a meeting with the acting CEO of T. T.H, progress is being made in adressing issues.