Ghana doctors shut down emergency services

All emergency medical services were withdrawn in Ghana on Monday 22 April as part of an ongoing nationwide strike by doctors.

The decision to intensify the strike action, which so far has involved some 3,000 doctors not attending to out-patients, was taken by the National Executive Council of the Ghana Medical association (GMA) following a protracted pay dispute with the government over arrears and reduced pensions.

The GMA issued orders that as of 22 April its members were to treat only in-patients until their discharge, putting further pressure on Accra's police and military hospitals which have had to cope with increased numbers of patients since the strike began on 8 April.

The police hospital in Accra was forced to double its maternity services to deal with up to 100 patients a day, up from its usual 40-50.

Other public service professionals in Ghana have been on strike in recent weeks. The government has come to an agreement with teachers and university lecturers however pharmacists and judicial employees are still engaged in industrial disputes.

The strike action taken by the doctors is the longest by any Ghanaian labour union this year.