Have Health Workers’ Leaders Been Reinstated?

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Despite a stern order issued Acting Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Matthew K. Flomo, by the plenary of the Liberian Senate instructing his Ministry to reinstate dismissed leaders of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NHWAL), credible information received by this paper indicates that the two are still out of jobs.

NHWAL President Joseph Tamba and Secretary General George Williams were among 22 health workers declared dismissed by Health & Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, during a nation-wide go slow by health workers.

hrough the intervention of the Senate and the Liberian Council of Churches and other national institutions, an agreement was reached during which Minister Gwenigale agreed after hours of meeting with some Senators at the John F. Kennedy Hospital, to reinstate all those dismissed, including the two leaders.

The Minister reinstated 20 health workers, leaving out the leadership, a decision which prompted the Senate to invite him to appear before the plenary. But due to the absence of the Minister out of in the country, Acting Minister Flomo was invited to the Senate, and in a strong-worded mandate he was given 72 hours to reinstate the two leaders. The Senate further mandated the Ministry to ensure that the two leaders be given all benefits enjoyed prior to their dismissal.

During that hearing last Tuesday, Deputy Minister Flomo informed the Senators that the decision by Minister Gwenigale to reinstate 20 of the 22 dismissed health workers and leaving out the president and his secretary general was as a result of their role in the health workers go slow.

“The Minister of Health formally wrote the two individuals informing them of their permanent dismissal from the Ministry; a copy of that communication was served the Civil Service Agency (CSA). As I stand here now I may not be in the position to tell you exactly the reason why the Minister has not been able to reinstate the two persons in question,” Acting Minister Flomo stated.

Meanwhile, responding to a query on Tuesday from a Senator as to whether the health workers had been reinstated as Health Ministry was mandated by plenary, Senate Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley promised to address the plenary concerning that issue. Up to press time Tuesday, it was not known whether Senator Findley updated his colleagues during their executive session which followed immediately after Tuesday’s plenary session.

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