Plenary, the highest decision making body of the House of Representatives, has mandated the Statutory Committee on Health and Social Welfare to investigate “complaints of denial of payment” to former Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) workers by the government.
The House Committee on Health and Social Welfare has also been ordered to seek clarity on the issue from the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara Konneh and the head of the Incident Management Team, Tolbert Nyenswah, who is also the Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health.
The Incident Management Team is the group that led government’s response to the Ebola emergency.
Rep. Johnson Chea chairs the Committee on Health and Social Welfare and it is co-chaired by Rep. Saah Joseph. Other members include Reps. Edwin M. Snowe, William Dakel, Corpu Barclay, Thomas Fallah and Malai Gbogar.
Plenary’s decision to investigate the claims of the former ETU workers stemmed from several petitions and peaceful protests, including a letter from Dr. Bhofal Chambers, the Chairman of the House Standing Committee on National Defense, over the failure of the government to pay ex-ETU workers their benefits.
In his letter, the Maryland County District # 2 Representative said that the former ETU staff worked tirelessly for the nation at various locations during the Ebola crisis and deserved to be compensated.
He reminded his colleagues that during the Ebola crisis the former ETU workers sacrificed for the country by facing the deadly virus to cater to scores of Ebola patients, but the Liberian government still owed many of them from the lowest category of workers to the highest category.
“Predicated upon the foregoing, I am therefore asking the timely intervention of this body to bring the whole scenario to a close, so that our courageous health workers will receive their just entitlements (their hazard pay),” Hon. Chambers wrote.
According to reports, some former ETU workers were paid off, while the remaining workers are yet to be paid.