The National Health Workers` Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) has called for “a complete overhaul of the Ministry of Health and the entire health sector” across the country.
NAHWUL formerly National Health Workers` Association of Liberia said with the process of repairing the sector, health care providers will benefit an effective and efficient health care delivery system in the nation that will be in the best interest of all Liberians.
Speaking Tuesday at the news conference in Monrovia, NAHWUL National Secretary General George Poe Williams urged the new government to consult and listen to the views of the union on health related matters and when taking major decisions in this sector.
The Union said over the last 12 years, the concerns of the workers had been overlooked.
According to the health workers, that had fatal consequences as was the case of Ebola when over 200 of colleagues succumbed to that deadly killer because the outgoing administration refused to listen to the workers` union.
‘’Over the last 12 years, the concerns of the workers had been overlooked and that had fatal consequences as was the case of Ebola when over 200 of colleagues succumbed to that deadly killer because the outgoing administration refused to listen to the workers` union,’’ NAHWUL’s Secretary General Williams said.
According to the National secretary of Health Workers Union George Williams said as they build a resilient health sector, NAHWUL urges the new government to consider the workers` union a vital stakeholder and a major partner in the health sector.
‘’We want to use this medium to draw the attention of the incoming government to the fact that health is a basic human right and the provision of said is the sole responsibility of the Government, not private companies,’’ Williams noted.
He said Health workers` meager incentives were regularly delayed sometimes up to eleven months noting that many of them are still volunteering after serving their nation for more than five years.
‘’There is no room for career ladder in the Ministry of health, local and foreign scholarships are still on a who knows you basis, the JFK, our nation`s teaching hospital, which used to be the Regional Referral Center, and once had more than 50 specialized Doctors, is gone brain drained today, the list is endless, these must not be allowed to continue,’’ the Liberian Health Workers Union said.
They spoke of persistent shortages of essential drug and other Medical plus Laboratory equipment at government hospitals across Liberia.
NAHWUL however called on the new administration to consider Senator Armah Zulu Jallah committee`s report which was endorsed by the Plenary of the Liberian Senate and the reinstatement of her dismissed leaders.
The Union at the time wants the abolition of the two labor laws in the country, the inclusion of civil servants into the Decent Worker Art, and to grant them certificate of recognition.
The health workers however pledged the Union’s willingness to remain constructively engage with the government in waiting, and her openness to social dialogue at all times.
‘’However, let it be cleared that this union shall never ever compromise the interest of the health care workers of this Republic,’’ Williams said.
‘’We wish to appreciate all political parties and independent candidates who contested in the elections together with their partisans and supporters for their resolve to give mama Liberia a peaceful transition,’’ NAHWUL’s Secretary General told Journalists.
At the same time, the Liberian Health Workers Union has thanked the Unity Party-led government for providing the space for the first time in 70 years and salutes the National Election Commission (NEC) and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia for not disappointing the people.
‘’To Ambassador Boakai, we say bravo for the display of astute statesmanship in accepting the election`s result. And, we say congratulations to Ambassador Weah on the occasion of his victory and for his willingness to be the President of all Liberians,’’ NAHWUL said.