Ghana Physician Assistants threaten strike over proposed legislation

The Ghana Physician Assistants Association has issued a warning that they might initiate a series of industrial actions to express their dissatisfaction with a proposed legislation that they believe could undermine their profession.

The decision to take such actions comes after the group obtained a document detailing a proposed amendment of Act 857 within the health professionals bodies act by the Ghana Medical and Dental Council. According to the association, this amendment could place Physician Assistants under the direction and supervision of a Medical Doctor, causing them to lose their professional autonomy.

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Among their demands, the Ghana Physician Assistants Association is requesting their removal from the cadres under the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, claiming that the Council is sabotaging their profession.

During a press conference in Accra, Appiagyei Buabeng, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the association, highlighted the potential adverse consequences of their planned strike on healthcare delivery, particularly in rural areas. He also urged relevant authorities to address their concerns before Monday, July 24, 2023.

“We as physician assistants practice under Act 857, Health Professionals Regulatory Bodies Act under the GMDC. And if you read the act very well, Section 43 talks about the rights conferred on registration. So once you are registered by the council as a practitioner, there are things you can do. But we just got the information that the GMDC is trying to sneak an amendment to that portion of the bill to Parliament for onward passage into law. That is what we are dissatisfied about. We have been able to intercept the document.”

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“So we want that particular bill, wherever it has gotten to, to be withdrawn. And then we are also seeking, we have always stated that we don’t want to belong to the GMDC because they have not been faithful to us as they have done to other traders under their regulation,” he stated.

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