“The way forward is to wean the Teaching Hospitals off government subventions.
I support a policy position that [teaching hospitals] should be able to recruit and pay their own doctors”, Labour Minister Haruna Iddrisu advocated on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Friday.
Government is keen to offload state institutions from the list of subvented agencies because of the severe strain they have on the public purse.
Successive governments have been advocating the policy, pointing out that some public institutions and agencies can be self-sustaining.
Already some eight agencies, including Ghana Water Company and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), have been reportedly penned down for the chop off.
Government reckons that it will save between GHC20 million and GHC25 million when the policy is fully implemented.
Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), George Smith-Graham earlier in the year explained that agencies selected will be autonomous in three years.
“Some may need a year and some a maximum of about two years to gradually get themselves off government’s subvention. So we are working as a team to ensure that we can get those which want to go immediately to do so,” he said.
Haruna Iddrisu revealed that a cabinet sub-committee is in place to oversee the policy of reducing government expenditure by challenging viable state institutions to fend for themselves.
His comments come as government tries to reach a deal with doctors who have been on strike since August 2015. The doctors want improved conditions of service documented and agreed on for the first time since 1996. But Government maintains that the proposals cannot be supported by the budget.
Parliament’s Finance Committee Chairman James Amedzi has also explained that more taxes will have to be raised if government is to uphold the demands of the doctors.
Government has asked the doctors to resume work and maintained that negotiating under duress is forbidden under Ghana’s labour laws.