The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has taken a decision to cite the Civil Service Agency (CSA) to appear before it on 23 September and justify a planned retirement of health workers during this time of the Covid -19 pandemic.
The Senate’s decision reached Wednesday, 16 September is based on a request by Maryland County Senator J. Gbleh-bo Brown who had called on his colleagues to cite the CSA in his quest for the agency to defer the ongoing retirement process of Doctors and Nurses across the country.
In Senator Brown’s communication requesting the Liberian Senate to invite CSA authorities, he cautions that it is not timely for the agency to retire health workers when the global health pandemic declared by the World Health Organization is not yet over.
According to Senator Brown, health workers are not ordinary civil servants that can just be retired, noting that there should be replacement of those health workers before they are retired. In some counties, he says there is only one Doctor, warning that retiring such doctor without a replacement will cause problems for the people in the county.
“Some Doctors have received their letters already and there is no one yet to replace those Doctors. I am calling on the CSA to put [a] halt to the process and take some time to do the transitional process before those Doctors can be retired,” Senator Brown suggests. He notes that retiring health workers now isn’t timely, adding that the country needs them now more than before.
According to him, the administration at the Ministry of Health informed the budget hearing committee that they have written the CSA requesting exemption for certain categories of health workers from the retirement plan, but the commission refused the request.
Additionally, Senator Brown explains that the Doctors to patients’ ratio in Liberia is the highest in the world, emphasizing that Liberia doesn’t have as many Doctors as the patients in the country.
He says he does not question the statutory mandate of the Civil Service Agency, however he holds the view that the implementation of the retirement policy at the Ministry of Health should not be at this time because it will have an adverse impact on the hospitals and clinics in the counties.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley