The Southeastern Health Workers Network of Liberia, a unified group consisting of health workers from the five Southeastern counties, namely Maryland, Sinoe, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, and Grand Kru, has initiated a go-slow action against the national government.
Under the banner of the network, they are protesting the alleged failure of the government to address crucial issues.
One of the main concerns raised by the group is the existence of salary disparities among health workers.
They argue that some individuals are receiving significantly lower wages compared to their colleagues, leading to deep-seated dissatisfaction within the healthcare sector.
Additionally, they condemn the constant deduction of salaries without proper justification, which further exacerbates their financial difficulties.
Another grievance highlighted by the Southeastern Health Workers Network is the inclusion of volunteer health workers on the government’s payroll. They argue that this practice is unjust and unfair, as these volunteers are not entitled to the same benefits and protections as regular employees.
The network believes that this inclusion negatively impacts the overall welfare and morale of health workers.
During a telephone interview with the Secretary General of the group, John Neufville, he emphasized that their go-slow action is a direct consequence of the government’s failure to replace pensioned health workers in a timely manner. The delay in filling these positions not only places additional strain on existing workers but also hampers the efficiency and quality of healthcare services.
Neufville further expressed disappointment in the government’s handling of the independent verification process, which aimed to identify ghost names on the payroll.
He claimed that the government had not adequately addressed this issue, leading to a lack of trust and confidence within the network.
In response to these allegations, the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, stated that her ministry is currently reviewing the claims made by the Southeastern Health Workers Network. She assured that a comprehensive and constructive response will be provided on Thursday, July 13, 2023, addressing the concerns raised by the group.