The Redemption Hospital in the borough of New Kru Town, Bushrod Island, was on Monday turned upside down after the Workers Association demanded their benefits, compensation, Ebola protective materials and other necessities in the often dangerous work environment.
Speaking to the Daily Observer reporter, who visited the hospital, the vice president of the association, Samuel Faley Jr., said the association had written a series of letters to the administration about the lack of benefits for the workers, risk benefits for staff and the special package that was promised by the President.
According to him, the association asked the management to urgently address the situation unfolding at the institution.
“Committed staff working without compensation in this critical time, without necessary protective equipment to do their job efficiently and risk benefits for staffs are among the problems they face,” Mr. Faley explained.
The Workers Association recommended to the administration that the management team works closely with some international NGOs to cover some important departments at the Redemption Hospital; but that recommendation did not materialize.
“We also informed them that the Workers Association should assist the management team in making decisions for the general well-being of all the staff at the institution. We also suggested that the management team provide enough protective equipment materials to the staff that are in close contact with patients on a daily basis.”
According to Faley, the absence of such materials for health practitioners was a serious problem, which has caused the deaths of many of their colleagues after several calls to the management to provide those necessary in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.
“One of our colleagues, who came down with the virus is currently being isolated.”
Mr. Faley further explained that, “The Workers Association quizzed the management as to whether the Redemption Hospital was being used to treat Ebola patients. They had answered in the negative and added that anyone suspected of the virus would be transferred to the Ebola treatment center.
“Several of our colleagues have died while the management team continues to marginalize us and fail to give us the needed materials for the work; we have decided to demand our benefits and other emoluments.”
With regard to the President’s special package for the workers during her visit to the hospital recently, Mr. Faley “Some people were given L$1,000, 800, 400 and 100 Liberian dollars, and some denied ever receiving the money, stating that some of us don’t even know how much we are making.”
He further stated that one of the Embassies accredited near Monrovia provided 50 bags of rice, 15 buckets of chlorate and other materials to the administration for the staff of the institution. These, he said, were shared only by two of the administrators.
“We have people who have spent 10 years and above at the Redemption Hospital and are not even on salary as we speak. We don’t have fixed salary for some of us. When the month ends, sometimes it is low and sometimes it high.”