Additional Duty Hours Allowance in Ghana

This case study focuses on the introduction, in the late 1990s, of an additional duty hours allowance for doctors and dentists in Ghana’s public health sector. This issue came to the fore because of wage increases that were paid to doctors employed by the Ministry of Defence, which then ignited the long-simmering discontent among other doctors in the rest of the public sector over their low salaries and long working hours. The initial agreement to pay the additional duty hours allowance to doctors and dentists eventually had much wider repercussions through the health system, which are also explored in this case study.

This case study is well-suited the exploring the mind-sets, interests and power of key policy stakeholders and for illustrating the concept of unintended policy consequences.

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