7 months unpaid allowances for hospital staff signals possible consequences

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Staff members of four major hospitals have raised an alarm to voice their concerns and frustration for not receiving transport allowance increment since the government made the pronouncement and also since it came into effect seven months ago. They, however, warned that it could be consequential if no immediate action is taken.

These hospitals include: Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Serekunda General Hospital, Bundung Maternal and Child Health Hospital and Sheikh Zayed Eye Care Centre.

The statement from a Joint Task Force Committee set up by the staff population delivering health care services to clients in Banjul and Kanifing Municipality to engage the health ministry said. “Last December a budget speech was presented stating an increment of transport allowances for grade 1 to 8 from D500 to D1500 for all civil servants with effect from January 2018 but the staffs of the above mentioned hospitals have not been paid the stipulated amount.”

The statement further stated the administrations of the named hospitals have made relentless efforts to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare from January to June but their goal of receiving the payments were not met.

The task committee exhausted all avenues and wrote to the ministry but they were instead rebuked by the health minister for their lack of patience.

“Following a letter addressed to all the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, copied to all relevant offices; the Honourable Minister Dr. Isatou Touray, on Wednesday 1st July, invited the Joint Task Committee for a prompt meeting about the pending transport allowances but the meeting turned into a platform for expressing anger, exercising power and blaming the entire staff of the four hospitals for perceived impatience by the Honourable Minister,” the statement reads.

 “Any consequent action in the nearest future will affect the service consumers.” The statement continued, “for this reason, we want the general public to be informed that its health care providers have been patiently serving for not just seven days, not seven weeks but for seven good months without receiving our complete transport allowances. The taxpayers deserve better!” the statement said.

Author: Sankulleh Gibril Janko