The Ministry of Health has dismissed as “irresponsible and reckless disregard to ethics” a front page story captioned, “Exodus Imminent at Government Hospitals” carried by the Daily Observer in its July 19th Edition.
The ministry rubbished the article saying, it constitutes total imagination and only concocted by the paper to be widely sold.
“At no time did healthcare workers whether in Bomi County or any part of the country reach such a decision to abandon the health sector as erroneously reported by the Daily Observer,” said a release signed by director of communications at the Ministry of Health, Sorbor George.
“Besides, assertion that BSc holders in the sector are paid L$20,700 has no aorta of truth and further points to the additional falsehood that the paper has endeavored to feed our learned public. We wish to clarify that a BSc holder in the health sector earns L$24,000 though subject to taxes.
“Another unfounded and uncalculated assertion by the paper is the report that incentives for healthcare workers have dropped from US$134 to US$ 22.23. The allowance for a healthcare worker in Bomi County is USD$125 subject to taxes.
“The paper also blatantly refused to understand and realize that the situation for which not only healthcare workers are receiving their salaries partly in US and Liberian dollar is a government decision, occasioned by the downward financial trend facing the entire country.
“Due to some financial and administrative changes, government paid 50 percent USD and 50 percent LD in May. In June, government paid its employees including healthcare workers 30 percent USD and 70 percent in LD.
“We are confident that there are no health workers contemplating leaving their so-cherished profession because of salary issues or otherwise as they are highly professional and always willing to serve humanity.
“It can be recalled that our employees even demonstrated their passion of giving healthcare during the Ebola epidemic when the issue of salary for them was not major rather to save lives.
We want to encourage the paper to always verify whatever product it is putting out to continuously win the admiration of the reading audience and escape the temptation of being seen unprofessional.
“What it would have caused the paper if it had kept the story until a line was secured from the ministry before going to press? Rather, the paper chose to wallow in falsehood by reporting that it called the Communication Director whose phone remains switched off up to press time,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, according to information in Daily Observer’s possession from health workers, sent by the Ministry of Health through GT Bank for 2016, it said “GTBANK: USD23.22 CR (MTHLY SALARY-MOH STAFF ALLOW FOR JUNE 2016 30% USD. Your bal. is USD40.03.” However, health workers told the Daily Observer that they are yet to receive the balance portion of the amount that they were told would be paid in Liberian dollars.
Furthermore this is what MOH communicated through text messages to Montserrado County workers for the month of May, 2016. “GTBANK: USD39.95 CR (MTNLY SALARY-MOH STAFF ALLOW FOR MAY 2016 BAL 50%…” A health worker said the May’s incentive was US$39.95 and June was reduced to US$23.22 “for those of us in Montserrado County. And with that trend July would bring another reduction.”
Another health worker in Tubmanburg, Bomi County in a telephone conversation yesterday admitted that they are entitled to receive from US$125 and US$115 as incentives but they have only been paid US$36 and not US$125 or US$115 and have no idea when the balance that they were told, would be paid in Liberian dollars, would come.
“We are not happy about it and someone needs to tell the truth,” she told the Daily Observer yesterday.
On the take-home pay or salary for a BSc degree holder, though the MOH is saying it is L$24,000, a health worker said they are paid L$20,700.