The system is now battling an old age crisis of welfare, mainly among health care workers nationwide. It was at the weekend announced by the umbrella health care workers body of a major go slow action by health workers nationwide due to some dissatisfactions among them, something that is now a reality today.
Well it is exactly two days since health workers nationwide embarked on a go slow action in demand of, among other things, salary increment, delay in getting their monthly earnings and improved working conditions, among others.
The current health situation has so far has triggered multiple protest actions across the country, mainly by concerned Liberians who believe that the health workers decision is greatly affecting them directly.
On Monday September 23, 2019, some residents of Du Port Road in District # 4 Montserrado County staged a protest action, thereby blocking traffic and held placards calling on national government to urgently address the plights of the health workers.
According to them, as a result of the health workers’ action, patients are now strangulated at various health facilities only at the mercy of God, a situation they considered as troubling.
Though the protesters were greeted with an appeal from their lawmaker, they angrily called for a quick response to the issue. According to Representative Rustolyn Dennis, the issue is of nation concern and should claim the attention of all.
She wants relevant government line ministries agencies to consider the situation seriously and take appropriate action.
Not only in Monrovia, but it has extended to central Liberia where an official of the health workers union Bong County chapter resigned in the midst of the current health challenges.
According to reports, the health facility there, similar to Monrovia, remain closed.
Meanwhile, the Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Samuel Tweah, has appealed to the health workers to return to work and assured them that they will receive their salary soon. But the appeal by Minister Teweah has fallen deaf ears as the agitating health workers remain resolute on their demands for salary increment, delay in getting their monthly earnings and improved working conditions, among others.
Currently, the draft national budget is still being discussed as finishing touches are said to be in making and may enter into October, three months of its legal execution.
According to reports, due to the ongoing budget discussion, the country appears to be at a standstill, as one twelfth of the current budget as per legal requirement has already been exhausted.
"There are more practical solutions needed then theory, " said a health worker who begged to be named.
He pointed that they render countless sacrifices just to save lives and fulfill their professional oath and social obligation, but the manner and form in which they are being treated is unfortunate.
Go slow and strike action including protest in the health sector are not unusual in Liberia, but with the current economic hardship facing the nation and its people, urgent action needs to be taken to help arrest the situation in order to bring a great relieve to the sector.