By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Odibo Health Centre in Ohangwena region is faced with a high medical staff turnover due to the irregularities currently taking place at the health facility that have been making headlines lately.
The high resignation rate is said to compromise the services offered at the health centre since experienced nurses have resigned and moved to other health centres, due to salary and related benefits that are not given timely, among other complaints.
On Tuesday, last week, the disgruntled staff members of Odibo Health Centre held a peaceful demonstration where they addressed all burning issues affecting them to the Oshikango constituency councillor, Phillip Namundjebo.
“Odibo Health Centre has 21 nurses on its staff’s establishment but on average it operates only on 15 nurses. Though staff members and professionals apply to come and work in Odibo, many of them do not stay long as they see other colleagues within the MOHSS getting their benefits on time,” states the statement issued by the staff.
The statement further states that employees are frustrated because the new benefits such as re-grading appeals, salary adjustments, payment of difference in overtime, Sunday and public holiday hours are usually delayed because of lack of budgetary provision from the Ministry to the health centre.
The staff members are apparently also not eligible for a housing subsidy because they are required to have collateral, something which the health centre cannot guarantee; thus prompting the staff members to resign and seek employment elsewhere.
“When a new staff member comes on board they cannot register for medical aid right away as the health centre only gets money enough to pay the staff members on payroll at that time, so therefore the new staff only get these benefits in the next financial year when a new budget submission is given and approved,” said the staff members.
Another challenge facing the staff members is the delays in payment of salaries and other related benefits which has now caused frustrations, mistrust, and suspicion between staff members and management.
“This translated to the de-motivation of staff, breakdown of team work and eventually poor performance which in the end leads to poor service delivery to patients and clients,”
“These staff members are already being paid by the money from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, but the procedure used is indeed cumbersome. Budget wise, there is no much of a difference, because the same money will still be paid to the same people but, in a different manner,” alleged the staff members.
The Odibo Health Centre staff members are therefore requesting the health ministry to transfer them to the Government’s payroll system.
Namundjebo has promised to deliver their petition to the relevant authorities.
Simon Mathias, the hospital’s nurses manager could not be reached for comment.
The health centre has in recent weeks been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons attributed to irregular affairs which include nepotism and favouritism in the awarding of tenders as well as abuse of hospital funds by senior officials. The Ministry of Health, spokesperson Ester Paulus declined to comment on the matter saying that the petition is yet to be forwarded to her office.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015