HEALTH

Ghana countering doctor strike by bringing in 170 Cuban medics

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 28:  Cuban doctors work in a free health care clinic named "Mission Inside the Barrio" November 28, 2006 in Caracas, Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez is widely popular in the poor barrios of Caracas due to his socialist efforts to assist the impoverished with missions offering free health care with doctors from Cuba as well as other services. Chavez faces off against challenger Manuel Rosales in the December 3 presidential elections.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 28: Cuban doctors work in a free health care clinic named "Mission Inside the Barrio" November 28, 2006 in Caracas, Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez is widely popular in the poor barrios of Caracas due to his socialist efforts to assist the impoverished with missions offering free health care with doctors from Cuba as well as other services. Chavez faces off against challenger Manuel Rosales in the December 3 presidential elections. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)  (2006 Getty Images)

Ghana is going to bring in about 170 Cuban doctors to work at health facilities amid a doctors' strike, the health minister said Wednesday.

Several people have died without proper emergency attention with the strike in its third week, said Health Minister Alex Segbefia.

The doctors, who are members of the Ghana Medical Association, have been on strike since Aug. 7 to back their demand for better working conditions, including salaries, allowances and benefits. The government says the strike is illegal and that it will only negotiate when the doctors return to work.

The Police Hospital and 37 Military Hospital in Accra are taking on most patients in the capital now, but staff there say they are stretched thin. The strike is affecting the whole country.

Segbefia said there is no set date for the 177 Cuban doctors to arrive, but planning has begun.

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