By Kruah Thompson
Health workers from the southeast under the umbrella Southeastern Health Workers Network of Liberia have downed tools to draw attention to government’s alleged failure to address salary disparities within the healthcare sector.
The network also seeks to highlight other pressing concerns, such as inclusion of volunteer health workers on payroll, constant salary deductions, low wages, motivational package for hard-to-reach counties in the region, and replacement of pensioned health workers.
It also emphasizes the urgent need to discontinue accepting SAAR Insurance for general health workers in the Southeast. According to the group, the insurance company has allegedly failed to provide adequate coverage for approximately 90 percent of its members in the region.
Comprised of health workers from five counties in the Southeast, namely; Maryland, Sinoe, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, and Grand Kru, the Southeastern Health Workers Network of Liberia aims to advocate for improved working conditions and equitable treatment.
In a press release dated July 12, 2023, the network’s leadership acknowledges that government, through relevant ministries and agencies, had pledged to address these concerns in June 2022.
It added that initially, when the go-slow action commenced, about eight hundred health workers’ names were released, and they received partial salary increments, leaving out the majority of health workers.
The network described the action as primarily motivated by the government’s inability to replace ghost names identified during an independent verification conducted by its leadership.
“Colleagues have heavily criticized the network’s leadership for the government’s decision to provide only marginal salary increases to a few health workers”, lamenting that the increment fell short of expectations.
Meanwhile, the Southeastern Health Workers Network is calling on all health workers across the Southeast to stay home in demand of better incentives and opportunities.