Members of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NAHWAL) have threatened to go-slow if government continuously ignored their plight. The health workers said they will boycott all government’s health facilities throughout the country, beginning July 22 if their demands were not addressed.
Health workers from the 15 political subdivisions met in the county health team conference hall in the government hospital compound in Tubmanburg, Bomi County on July 13, and resolved that if the government and the people of Liberia provide no tangible redress, as of July 22, the people of Liberia should avoid sending their sick relatives to government health facilities throughout the country.
Addressing a press conference, the Secretary General of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NAHWAL) George Williams, said they have been marginalized, totally disappointed and frustrated over the meager salaries they earn compared with present day social economic situation.
“Taking into account the risks associated with the kinds of work we do which predisposes us to infectious and contagious diseases such as HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, and Laser fever, but yet we are among the least paid,” George Williams noted.
Williams narrated that health and social welfare workers usually work overtime during holidays and weekends without launch break, but yet they receive no bonuses, allowances or benefits unlike civil servants, who receive allowances and benefits.
They noted that the Health Ministry is yet to account for the deduction of between US$55 and 57 across the board from health and social welfare workers who are on government payroll.
According to Williams, health workers are troubled by the removal of names of active employees from the payroll nearly on a monthly basis “and given that 40% of the health and social welfare control facilities throughout the length and breadth of this Republic are volunteers, contractors, some for more than five years thus, they get older and even die without retirement benefits”.
He said health workers are deeply worried over the mysterious disappearance and subsequent death of one of their colleagues Mr. Ballah Scott, a health worker, who served the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital for 25 years. According to him, remains of the late Ballah Scott await justice.