The National Health Advocacy Network of Liberia (NHANL) is calling on the National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NHWAL) to abort their planned strike action.
NWHAL had said few days that they are going to commence a strike action today if their demands weren’t met by the Government of Liberia. Their demands, among others, included the resignation of Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. (MD) Walter T. Gwenigale, and his principle deputies, including Dr. (MD) Bernice Dahn and Cllr. Vivian Cherue.
NHANL said in a release that if the strike goes on as planned, it will adversely affect the nation’s struggling public health system and expose patients, including those in critical conditions, to serious danger.
The network acknowledged the vital roles trussed upon the shoulders of health workers, including nurses pertaining to medications and treatments, assistance to both the patients and physicians/doctors as well as, ensuring that patients are properly examined, comfortable and well taken care of. The group believes that without the nurses, the few doctors wouldn't know how the patient's condition was from the night before to the morning, let alone be able to determine whether the patient's condition might be improving or declining.
The Network is asking all health workers, especially nurses to consider the repercussion of a strike and resort to bargain with relevant public health authorities through their leadership, as their absence will have adverse effect ailing public health care system.
While asking their colleagues to stay put, NHANL also called on the government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the House and Senate's Committees on Health to do everything possible to advert the impending strike by initiating discussions with the leadership of NHWAL in order to avoid a situation that put patients at risk, and threaten to sharply erode living standards for nurses and their families.
Meanwhile, the Network will on hold a strategic planning workshop February, 27 and 28 in Monrovia and subsequently launch a research that would seek to document health challenges in the County, underscoring access and quality of public and private health care with the aim of identifying drivers of maternal and child mortality, and proffering recommendations to stakeholders in order to find solutions.