Health Workers On “Wait & See”
By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy & Edwin Wandah
Contrary to media reports that health workers have resumed work following their strike action at various public health facilities across the country, this has proven to be far from reality and also misleading to residents.
This paper took a tour at various public health facilities again; this time to get hands-on information about how health workers felt after a weeklong of go-slow action, if their terms and conditions were satisfactorily met by the Ministry of Health and to also see if patients were pouring in at the various centers for normal medication.
That seems not the case at the only public referral health facility in Bomi County as essential health workers at the Liberia Government Hospital in Tubmanburg are still not reporting to work for what they term as the absence of a Memorandum of Understanding.
The workers believe that if they report to work just based on a meeting with concerned Liberians for them to see the need to pick up their tools in their quest to save lives, they said they would rather prefer resorting to a ‘wait and see’ strategy.
At the hospital yesterday, some of the nurses were seen walking about the compound while the County Health Officer was there too with some of her doctors awaiting patients on emergency because according to her major work cannot be performed without the essential health workers.
It has been observed that throughout the seven days of go-slow action, only three patients have been taken to that facility; two critical and one for minor treatment. One was transferred to the John F. Kennedy Hospital, while the other critical patient reported to have almost lost his life was stabilized on Sunday at the Tubmanburg Hospital before being transferred.
Some of the nurses said the residents of the Boim County are doing pretty well for themselves by not going to seek medical care at the facility while the crisis is ongoing because it would be even more painful to go there and don’t see nurses.
In a related development, when the INQUIRER visited the C. H. Rennie Hospital yesterday, there were few nurses, including Doctor Adolphus Yeiah present at the Hospital and at least attending to the patients who went in their numbers to seek medical treatment.
When quizzed by the INQUIRER to ascertain the present health needs of the hospital, Doctor Yeiah said that at least with the sending of nurses from the Ministry of Health to beef up the strength of the few doctors and nurses already assigned at the hospital, things were a bit normal.
However, in the midst of the ongoing health situation, the Ministry of Health has mandated all County Health Officers to take daily attendance or roll calls for possible dismissal of those that will fail to return to work.
The Ministry of Health has in the same vein called on all recent graduates of all medical schools in the country, including senior nursing students to report to the Ministry of Health for assignments in various affected counties.