Tamale, Oct. 3, GNA – The Ghana Association of Public Health Technical Officers (GAPHTO), has called for expedite action on the creation and implementation of a degree salary grade for members.
The call of GAPHTO was directed to Ghana Health Service (GHS), Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and other relevant bodies.
Mr Awuni Mbabila, Northern Regional President of GAPHTO, who made the call at a news conference in Tamale, said the non-existence of a degree salary grade for members with relevant qualifications is hampering their progress as professionals.
Mr Mbabila said: “Although the association could boast of a greater proportion of its members with higher qualifications in relevant fields, which have helped enhance public health operations and improve key indicators, members are still being placed at the diploma and certificate grades.”
He expressed disappointment at the situation saying: “The association finds it demotivating, disincentive and apparent lack of recognition of our contribution to public health in Ghana.”
He said negotiations for the creation of a degree salary grade has been ongoing for about two years and called on GHS and FWSC to fast track the process.
Mr Mbabila also called on FWSC to review and appropriately place members of GAPHTO on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) as well as resolve all outstanding issues.
He said placing of members as low risk staff on the SSSS is unfair as they are exposed to varied types and degree of risks as any other high risk staff.
He called on GHS to establish a superintendent grade for Field Technicians, saying: “We have noted with grave concern that the absence of this grade has left most of our Field Technicians stacked at the principal grade, which is the last or exit grade contrary to the superintendent grade currently enjoyed by others with the same basic qualifications.”
Mr Mbabila also called on the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the GHS to include members of GAPHTO in the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (FELTP) being run at the graduate level at the School of Public Health, University of Ghana and sponsored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
He said the exclusion of members of GAPHTO from FELTP is strange and demotivating adding: ‘We view the action of our employer to be despicable towards our profession and an apparent lack of confidence in us that we can be the best epidemiologists or public health experts that the country needs to tackle the numerous public health challenges confronting it.”
Mr Mbabila also called on MoH and the College of Health, Kintampo, to review and reduce the fees for serving officers pursuing post basic programmes.
Alhaji Ahmed Iddrisu Adam, Regional Industrial Relations Officer of the Health Services Workers Union of Trades Union Congress supported the position of GAPHTO, explaining that the situation is not the best and urged the appropriate authorities to address the concerns raised by the members.