River Gee County mapThe Daily Observer on Wednesday, November 5, reliably learned that health workers, including specialized medical doctors in the country, have threatened to stage a go-slow action on job, “because there is no money to pay them.”
According to our source, health workers in River Gee County have planned to “protest” in demand of their salary arrears the government has reportedly owed them for the last six months.
According to our sources, since June 2018, health practitioners assigned with the county health team have not been paid their salary arrears.
The also Observer gathered that, prior to the health workers planned demonstration in River Gee, doctors at the country’s major referral health facility — the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor — had earlier staged a go-slow action that has affected smooth operation at the center since yesterday. The report was confirmed by other health workers at the hospital, who requested to remain anonymous.
Meanwhile, one of the doctors at the JFK Medical Center said if the situation is not addressed, the administration would subsequently turn away patients from the facility.
“Since some of us came to this hospital, we have been working but not getting anything; only few people in the system can feel for us and give us small amount of money to feed our families,” a health worker at Fish Town Hospital said via mobile phone on condition of anonymity to the Daily Observer. “Some people have been here for almost four years now, but are yet to receive incentives.”
A female employee said since 2016, she and some of her friends have survived on handouts from the hospital, something she described as “unbearable” for any professional and family person.
“Since I came here in 2016, I am not on salary, neither am I receiving incentives; but surviving on the small money they can give me when allotment comes for the county heath team. When the Health Minister came to address the issue, she said we must exercise patience. Since then, nothing has happened to address our problem,” she said.
Since the situation was reported yesterday, the Daily Observer has gathered that some of the nurses have reportedly been working for seven or more years without their names being placed on government payroll and the incentives listing. And because of the bad working condition, some of the nurses are planning to stay away from work until their demands are addressed by health authorities.
“What really brought in the go-slow the other day was, people were paid by coupon, but when the new government took over, the coupon distribution closed, because it has reached the stage for the new government to maintain its own workers since the old employees have worked for more than 10 years,” another worker said.
In a related development, the Daily Observer has gathered that River Gee County’s only referral hospital in Fish Town is currently distressed, because of lack of fuel to run the generator. Due to the prevailing situation, it has been gathered that families of patients scheduled for surgery often buy their own fuel so that a procedure can be performed.
Our source also added that three of River Gee’s five ambulances are currently in disrepair, because they have reportedly developed mechanical faults, making it difficult to respond to emergency cases.
River Gee County Chief Health Officer, Dr. Trokon T. Washington, recently admitted that lots of health workers are not on payroll in the county.
Dr. Washington also added that the county health authority is working with authorities at the MoH, to ensure that workers are placed on government payroll.
“We have close to 130 health workers who are not on government payroll. Those names are already being submitted to the personnel division at MoH,” he said.
The county Superintendent, Philip Q. Nyenuh, also admitted being aware of the difficulties health practitioners in the county are undergoing.