Dr. Elaine Ababio told myjoyonline.com, his colleagues, scattered across the country, will pitch camp at the premises of the state department each day.
Using the hashtags #payjnrdoctorsnow and #occupyCAGD, the junior doctors stressed that they are “too hungry to pursue any agenda other than getting our 11 months salary paid in full to each of us”.
The frustrated doctors conveyed their intentions in a statement issued in Accra Friday.
Read the full statement below:
24th July, 2015.
PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY 91 UNPAID DOCTORS WHO STARTED WORK IN SEPTEMBER, 2014.
Good morning everyone. It’s with extreme grievousness that we stand before you today as a group of highly disgruntled doctors of which the most ruthless injustice has been unprecedentedly dealt upon. This statement is neither political nor a plea. It’s a commentary of the deception and blatant disregard for the efforts we as doctors put into saving lives. It is unapologetic, unedited and with words that will be deemed slightly unsavory, but which only seem to be the most appropriate to express our deepest disappoints, frustrations and angst. Finally it is a demand for what is duly ours and nothing more.
To begin with, it is important we appreciate the processes required to effect payment to a house officer as we attempt to correct certain erroneous impressions put out by CAGD since our issue came to light.
Process for Payment of a House Officer
There are essentially 3 processes a house officer undertakes before receiving salary from Government.
- Financial Clearance: This is issued by the Ministry of Finance, authorizing the initiation of subsequent processes that lead to payment of salaries. We received Financial Clearance on 8th March, 2015 as shown by the attached documents.
- Generation of Staff IDs and SSNIT numbers: This is a unique representation of each worker. Staff IDs were generated for us in the month of April, 2015.
- Biometric Registration: This is the final piece of the jigsaw. A process that helps authenticate your claims by taking your biometric details. This is essential to prevent the canker of payroll fraud by eliminating ghost names. At this juncture it is critical to add that you cannot undergo biometric registration without having gone through the preceding steps. We concluded Biometric Registration by May, 2015.
Going through these steps over the past 11 months has not been easy as it looks.
CAGD reaction- A palpable falsehood!!!
We have noted with great shock and utter dismay, the desperate attempts of the CAGD to primarily deny knowledge of the truth that 91 doctors have not been paid. What is even more heart-breaking is the porous and unsavory attempts at laying the blame right at our doorstep. i. e “We have not submitted the necessary documents”. They know it is not true as the documents attached to this statement reveals.
Is it not ridiculous that on Citi- FM’s eye witness news on the evening of the 21st of July 2015, the Head of Payroll denies knowing we have NOT been paid, then on the morning of the 22nd of July 2015, the same person says we have NOT done biometric, then finally on the evening of the 22nd of July on Citi-FMs eye witness news whiles discussing the general issue of delay in payment of salaries, suggests the 91 doctors have NOT submitted their SSNIT numbers to MOH?
We anticipate that judging by the trend of unmerited excuses being given, CAGD might soon suggest we have not submitted our death certificates even though we are still alive.
A Chronic Canker!!
When given the unique opportunity to respond to the issue of non-payment of salaries of the 91 doctors on Joy FM’s morning show on 22nd July, 2015, a certain CEO of a reputable teaching hospital chose to suggest we had an Agenda and proceeded to ply the path of the “This is not the first time syndrome” by quickly reminding us all and we must add without provocation, about how this issue is not peculiar to this group and hence should not be given prior attention. He admits to facing the same challenge whiles he was a house-officer at Korle-Bu in 1990 when he went 10 months without salary..
We would have thought his experience of hardship back in1990, i.e. if he suffered any, would have guided his choice of words and attitude when addressing an issue as sensitive as this on a national platform…Clearly he did not suffer enough during his time as a house officer who was not receiving salary..Times are different now.
What we refuse to do is to act as if this canker is the new normal or to pretend that it’s simply sufficient to grieve, and that any mention of us doing something to stop it is somehow politicizing the problem by pursuing a certain agenda. In fact, we are too hungry to pursue any agenda other than getting our 11 months salary paid in full to each of us. Accepting the status quo will be an endorsement of mediocrity. Our country must make progress as we refuse to set a standard as low as that displayed in 1990.
THE RELEVANCE OF THE HOUSE-OFFICER “Interns with log books”
We have been called several names by people who without justifiable reason think our legitimate fight for what is due us is unnecessary and somehow a threat to them and their positions. In the process, we have heard senior colleagues on radio state that we are not doctors, we are not employed by the Ministry of Health, and many more. This is very disturbing.
Any boss worth his mettle, will be quick to admit the relevance of the house-officer in the delivery of health-care as we are almost always the frontline of the hospital… Need we remind you of the brave and commendable work done by those of us in 37 military hospital during the recent flood and fire disaster…All these we have been doing on empty stomachs.
Our Juniors who will be inducted next month must be wondering what awaits them now that their senior colleagues have not been paid.
PAY US OUR DUE!!/#occupyCAGD
It’s a gloomy effigy of us as a people and an indictment on us as a nation, that we reward the patriotism of 91 doctors who have worked 11 months without salary with hunger, suffering, mental fatigue and depression..Slowly we are being sentenced to death and for what crime? We do not know. Please respect our human rights and pay us our due.
There are breastfeeding mothers, pregnant women, orphans and individuals with families depending on them amongst us. Pay Us our Due. Since you have developed the penchant of repeatedly asking for documents, we have decided to compile all documents from Birth Certificates, Baptismal Cards, BECE and WASSCE certificates, Prospectus forms, Admission Letters, Appointment Letters, Assumption of Duty Letters, Acceptance Letters, SSNIT Numbers, Staff IDs and Biometric Forms… and individually submit them to you this Monday on the 27th of July, 2015 so you have no excuse what so ever, not to pay us. We shall wait till we are paid before we return. We have done our job, please do yours.
Whoever it is that’s withholding or hoarding our salaries should please release them, because we’re not backing down till all ninety one of us have been remunerated fully our accumulated eleven months salary to every single dime. #payjnrdoctorsnow.