Doctors’ illegible handwriting may be a standing joke but it has now become a stumbling block in the negotiations between the government and the Ghana Medical Association over conditions of service.
A highly placed source has confirmed that negotiations have stalled “because members of the government’s negotiation team have so far, been unable to decipher the doctors’ illegible handwriting.” The doctors reportedly presented their list of demands in a handwritten note which government officials compared to the illegible scrawl one usually finds on a doctor’s prescription note.
“The doctors’ poor handwriting is the reason for the break down in negotiations. Government officials simply can’t read what’s on the paper. If officials can’t decipher the doctors’ handwriting, then I’m afraid this whole episode will go on for a long time,” explained the source.
Nurses and pharmacists who are also striking over unpaid salaries, have expressed sympathy for the government’s negotiations team, admitting that “deciphering a doctor’s handwriting is not the easiest task in the world.” They warned that it could be weeks before officials can be able to make sense of the scrawled handwriting.
According to our source, government is now considering plans to force all medical schools to introduce a compulsory “legible handwriting test” as part of the doctor training programme.