By Confidente Reporter
INVESTIGATIONS into the alleged rot at the Odibo Health Centre in the Ohangwena region continue to unearth more revelations, with the latest that the Government-subsidised hospital reportedly has ghost employees in its workforce.
Inside sources told Confidente that amongst the ghost workers are former employees and unknown individuals who have been on the payroll and costing the St Mary’s Anglican health facility thousands of dollars in salaries for months.
“These ghost workers were recently discovered as investigations into the hospital’s management amongst other burning issues continue. Four ghost employees have been identified and includes former employees and some unknown people. People normally sign documents to indicate that they received their salaries but there are certain people on that list that don’t sign,” an insider said.
Last week, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Dr Andreas Mwoombola exposed that the hospital had been overpaying and in some cases underpaying its workers for seven months.
Although the ministry also said that the financial implications were an internal matter, insiders said that the process drained hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been used to address the hospital’s shortcomings for quality services to the masses.
Insiders also told Confidente that the hospital was battling increased staff-turnover as a result of alleged unmet promises including unpaid increments since September 2015 and delayed salaries. But with the hospital already faced with a shortage of nurses and pharmacists, insiders fear that certain departments such as the maternity ward might be temporarily closed.
“Four employees in the last few months have resigned because of empty promises including unpaid increments and salaries that are always late. These are professionals that the hospital is losing to private hospitals. There are increased talks that several departments might be temporarily closed as a result staff shortage,” said another insider.
Last week, the hospital’s management and several bishops linked to the hospital met to discuss burning issues affecting the health centre. Amongst them was the alleged resignation of an administrator Grape Shimweefeleni amidst the outcome of the health ministry’s investigations. The resignation was however not accepted.
Shimweefeleni denied resigning saying that it is business as usual. He however could not confirm nor deny the situation but said he is not allowed to talk to the media. “Yes but all was communicated to the relevant authorities,” Shimweefeleni said when asked about the ghost employees and staff turnover, adding, “But we are not allowed to speak to the media.”
The hospital’s nurse manager Simon Mathias also declined to comment on the matter saying the information was forwarded to the health ministry. Officials at the ministry however said that it was yet to be briefed.
The health centre has been dogged with irregular affairs including alleged nepotism and favouritism in the awarding of tenders as well as abuse of hospital funds by senior officials.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015