Cuban doctors operating under a medical service and education agreement between Ghana and Cuba have not received their allowances since September last year.
The situation, according to the Cuban Deputy Health Minister, Dr Marcia Cobas Ruiz, was taking a toll on the work of the doctors and needed to be resolved urgently.Follow @Graphicgh
Under the agreement, the doctors are not supposed to be paid salaries but monthly allowances and given free accommodation.
It forms part of efforts by the government of Ghana to enhance the doctor-patient ratio and, accordingly, improve accessibility to healthcare services in the country.
Dr Ruiz said he would meet Ghana’s Health Minister this week to deliberate on the matter.
The Cuban deputy minister announced this in Tamale last Saturday when she visited some of the doctors in the Northern Region to acquaint herself with their challenges.
According to her, the non-payment of the allowances was the main concern raised by the doctors during her interaction with them and urged the government to address the issue to help facilitate their work.
She said for the past 20 years, Cuban doctors had been working in Ghana to support efforts by the government to improve on the country’s health system, saying that attested to the strong partnership between the two countries in the health sector.
“Despite the challenges the doctors are going through, we are willing to deliberate with the Ministry of Health to resolve those challenges, so that we can give Ghana additional doctors,” she said.
For his part, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr Solomon Boar, expressed the government’s commitment to resolve the challenges confronting the doctors to provide a conducive environment for them to work effectively.
He called for more negotiations on contract extension for the doctors, whose two-year contract would end in July this year.