The hospital wage bill is about sh40m monthly but collects less than half of that in a month
Medical workers in Ngora Fredacar Hospital in Ngora district on Monday staged a demonstration over non-payment of accumulated salary arrears of four months.
Medical workers and support staff laid down their tools, locked their work offices and matched peacefully from the hospital towards the district but were quickly intercepted by the Police commanded by the Ngora DPC, Atorom Esau Opio.
The aggrieved workers accuse the hospital top management for not paying them their salaries for months now since April.
The workers also accuse the hospital administrator Stella Eunice Akurut and the human resource officer Annet Adeke for dividing the hospital staff in to two, the old and the new staff. Under this division, the management is accused of paying the new staff leaving the old staff marginalized.
The top management is also accused of poor communication skills and bad language use against the old staff.
“Can you imagine going for four months without salary and when you ask for your payment, the hospital administrator and the human resource officer tell you, ‘if you are fed up of working, the gate is wide open, you can go forever’. Is that really sense?” one of the medical asked.
In an attempt to settle the matter, Ngora district leaders quickly organized and called for an emergency meeting between the top management and the aggrieved staff.
This meeting was chaired by the district chairperson Ngora Ben Eumu and attended by the DPC, CAO, DHO, DISO, headteacher Ngora HS, Martin Okiria Obore, the medical director Fredacar Hospital, admin and human resource and the aggrieved medical workers.
Ngora DPC Atorom Esau Opio (R) tried to calm down the medical personnel so that peaceful dialogue could happen. Photo by Charles Achoda
The meeting noted with high concern the existing gap between the old and the new staff in the hospital, poor communication skills and bad language use, creation of two payrolls within the hospital and among others the board’s weakness in settling some of the challenges.
The district chairperson, Ben Eumu managed to calm the situation down and urged the two parties to forgive one another as they settle the challenges in the hospital.
The medical director Ngora Fredacar Hospital, Dr Gorrett Ibilat, human resource officer Annet Adeke and the hospital administrator Stella Eunice Akurut attributed the demonstration to lack of money in the hospital.
Adeke said the hospital wage bill is about sh40m monthly but collects less than half of that in a month. She said the hospital is financially crippled as it is operating without donors.
The acting Ngora DHO, Rose Aliano asked the top management of the hospital to motivate staff as one way of the improving health service delivery in the organization.
“Much as there is no money in this hospital, when you get money anywhere, please motivate your staff. These nurses cannot work without salary”, Aliano said.
However the DPC Ngora, Atorom Esau Opio urged the medical workers to calm down and always use amicable means to solve the problems.
He said much as the medical workers concerns were genuine, they did not seek for permission from Police to allow them demonstrate peacefully as the law requires.
Poprasi Olupot and elder in Ngora Complex who also attended the meeting joined the medical workers in airing their concerns over the way they are being handled in the hospital.
Olupot asked the medics and support staff to resume work and save the lives of the patients in the hospital.
After spending the whole day in the meeting, medical workers finally accepted to resume duty.