The Ghana Graduate Physician Assistants Association has said it will embark on a nationwide strike starting today (July 19) to protest what they call discrimination against their profession.
In a myjoyonline.com report, the Association indicated that the intended strike was a reaction to the consistent threats to the dignity of Physician Assistants (PAs).
The strike is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, unless the government takes action to address the challenges and maltreatment experienced by PAs in their service to the state.
They claim that their profession has been undermined and disrespected by the public for a while now.
“They stopped some PA training schools, failed candidates who sat for licensing, and strangulated PA postings by the government instead of developing the profession,” the association is quoted to have said.
Joel Tetteh Padi who is the General Secretary, of the Association, highlighted the necessity of the strike action, citing a distressing incident in 2018 when a Physician Assistant was unjustly imprisoned for nearly two weeks, causing significant trauma to the individual.
It was through a demonstration held by the Association that some positive changes and reforms were achieved within their profession.
Again, the general secretary emphasized the urgent need for the Ministry of Health to address the issues of discrimination and mistreatment faced by Physician Assistants in their line of work.
He opined that PAs are highly qualified professionals in the health sector who deserve respect and recognition.
The General Secretary also criticized a directive from the Ghana Medical and Dental Council that prevents Physician Assistants from independently signing certain patient forms related to rest or sick leave.
This restriction, he said, forces PAs, particularly those in rural areas without access to doctors, to seek approval from doctors in urban centres before submitting necessary forms for patient care.
Padi underscored the importance of resolving this issue within the health sector, emphasizing that Physician Assistants are trained professionals who deserve fair treatment.
The Association’s decision to strike serves as a plea for reform and a demand for equitable treatment, to secure the rights and recognition that Physician Assistants rightfully deserve within the healthcare system.