LIBERIA: Southeastern Health Workers Threaten Strike Action Today June 1

Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah

BARCLAYVILLE, May 30 (LINA) – Health workers in Southeastern Liberia under the banner ‘Southeastern Health Workers Network’ have threatened to stage a go-slow action across the region beginning Wednesday, June 1.

According to the aggrieved healthcare providers, two months ago they they engaged the Ministry of Health, local county health officers, local county authority, members of the Legislative Caucuses, and the Grand Kru County National Health Workers Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) cataloging their concerns on issues affecting them, but all their efforts have proved futile.

The healthcare workers claimed to have acquainted key actors in the sector about their concerns, but there has been no redress; instead things continue to get worse

In their petition, the healthcare providers are calling on central Government and partners to address their concerns, including salary disparities among health workers, the constant deduction of their salaries, and low or little salaries for healthcare workers.

According to the aggrieved healthcare workers, nurses with Diploma, AA, BSc Degree, Physician Assistants and other healthcare staff are making less than US$250 as take home salaries, while they work 24 hours a day due to the limited number of staff, particularly in Grand Kru County.

They noted that there are too many volunteers at the various facilities, something which, they noted, is making the work ineffective because they are not earning something at the end of the month, while pensioned staff are yet to be replaced.

In their communication, they noted that these and many more problems continue to create setbacks to the overall healthcare system of the region.

The workers said when they stage the go-slow action on June 1, health workers in the region will only return to work if government addresses the problem that all health workers with the same qualification be given the same salaries, health workers working in extremely hard-to-reach areas be given attractive salaries as compared to those working in urban areas, and volunteer health workers be absorbed into the system, and the unnecessary deduction of salaries be abolished.

The group also said all hospital and clinical staff will remain in their respective homes as of the above mentioned date until government sees reason to address these concerns.

The document, however, urge all bearers of the Southeastern Health Workers Network leadership in the concerned counties to hold meetings with their colleagues and inform them about the upcoming go-slow action.

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