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5,000 Without Pay in Health Sector

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What appears to be ‘work without pay’ at the end of every month in Liberia has been reported within the health sector.  This could probably be one of the reasons for the shortage of medical supplies, mainly drugs at the various health centers across the country.

Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Minister of Health Bernice Dahn disclosed that there are over 5,000 health workers working throughout the country, but not receiving salaries at the close of each month.

“Over 5,000 health workers working at various health posts in the country are not on government’s payroll, and this is worrisome,” Dahn indicated.

She made the disclosure during the formal launch of the National Health Advocacy Network of Liberia (NHANL), a conglomeration of civil society organizations and community-based health-related organizations.

The NHANL program was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, with support from the West African Health Organization (WAHO) Tuesday in Monrovia.

Though Dahn did not elaborate further on how long this has been ongoing, how these people got into the system and how can they be absorbed so as to continue their contributions remain their concern.

In the national budget for 2012/2013 passed recently by the Legislature, the health sector is reported to have been allotted US$84 million. Of this amount, the government’s contribution is US$40 million, while balance will be provided by partners or donors support.

In recent times, strike actions by health workers have characterized healthcare delivery with health workers laying down their tools at most health posts across the country in demand of arrears and other benefits from the government.

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