Bong County senatorial aspirant Dorothy Tooman is calling on members of the Legislature to begin the enactment of comprehensive long-term health strategies that would prevent future strikes by health workers.
Speaking recently, the former Development Education Network of Liberia (DEN-L) Executive Director maintained that there is a need for government to design a holistic strategy that would provide clear understanding on how social benefits and incentives of health workers would be adequately settled if they must disengage their strike actions and go back to work.
She warns that strike actions will continue to paralyze the Liberian health sector if the government, especially the Legislature doesn’t develop a system that will ably address the needs of Liberia.
She adds that it is saddening to note that instead of the government finding amicable ways to adequately address the current strike-actions through dialogues, the government is making the situation worse with derogatory statements that have the propensity to stimulate chaos in the health sector of the country.
According to her, threatening to replace dissatisfied workers is not a solution to the problem, but a means of making the problem worse.
“How can you say that you will replace professional Doctors with people who are still considered as students? Does it make any sense to do that or do you want our people to die?” she asks. Madam Tooman argues that no amount of statements from the government can pressure health workers to work, maintaining that constructive engagement is the best way forward in reaching a logical conclusion of the prevailing situation across the country.
In order to ensure a flourishing health system and curtail continued strike actions by health workers across the country, Madam Tooman suggests that there is a need that citizens elect characters who are knowledgeable of the prevailing situations in the country and have the expertise in developing programs that would address them.
According to a 2006 health survey, Liberia has 5,000 fulltime and part-time health workers and 51 Doctors to cater to a population of 3.8 million. Such a survey placed the responsibility on the shoulders of one Doctor to cater to 76,000 civilians, a number that is very huge for a single Doctor.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong County –Edited by Winston W. Parley