thought-that was very, very fruitful- Ordinarily, Committees would want referrals to be made to them before they Start acting. I think the action of the Health Committee is very, very commendable.
Mr Speaker, from their engagement with the GMA, we now know, this House knows that there are three main issues that the medical officers have raised. One is the grade structure of the medical officers, the market premium of medical doctors and additional duty hours undertaken by them.
Mr Speaker, I think as a nation, we should understand that the market premium on medical officers has really gone very, very high. In the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada, many brilliant minds no longer want to pursue courses in medicine.
This is because, now Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a greener area, most science students are gravitating towards pursuing courses in ICT. They have shorter duration and they earn much higher than medical officers who spend five or six years in school.
Mr Speaker, it is why in the United Kingdom, in the United States of America and in Canada today, we have an influx of medical officers from India to the health facilities of these countries. As we do know, the start-off pay in the UK for general practitioners (GPs) who are newly- recruited is in the region of 5,500 pounds which translates to close to 150 million old Ghana cedis or GH¢l5,000. Mr Speaker, as a nation, we should look at this and if no push is given to the medical officers, Ghana will be very much disadvantaged.
Notwithstanding, we should also know that as a nation, we are not in the position to remunerate the medical officers sufficiently, just like the other professions can also not be paid adequately enough. So it is really a difficult situation. that as a nation we find ourselves in.
I do know that no Government will sit down unconcerned in the face of any strike action by medical officers. So I want to believe that Government will be purposed to resolve this crisis and that is why the side kicks of inflammatory language would not help to resolve the matter at all.
Mr Speaker, already, people, in particular the Chairman who made the Statement, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh and my Colleague the Hon Member for Sekondi (Papa Owusu-Ankomah) have all spoken about a deficit of trust in the negotiation process and I believe we have to reconstruct it so that people will believe in the institutions. This is because the Hon Minister responsible said, re-echoing what President Obama told us, that we should build strong institutions and not strong personalities. Where you have built strong institutions, if trust cannot be engendered, certainly, we would not make any progress.
So it is important that tied in to this, we must ensure that people can trust in the system, people can trust in the institutions and if there is no deficit of trust, then people who go to the negotiation will be clear in their minds that whatever is decided on will be implemented. That people have been sufficiently clothed with the authority to come to the negotiations and whatever comes from them would certainly be implemented.
Mr Speaker, as the Hon Minister said, and as I have also alluded to, lives that are being lost, and people entering into crisis situations in their health situations