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General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Source: GNA

No pay for health workers who were not enumerated

Accra, Nov. 20, GNA - The Ministry of Health (MOH) would stop the salaries of health workers who were not enumerated under the health worker census if they did not contact the Ghana Statistical Service and the Auditor General's Department by the end on this month to remedy the situation.

Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), Minister of Health on Tuesday said, "such workers had up to the end of this month to get enumerated otherwise they would be declared as "Ghosts" and their salaries would be stopped."

Opening the annual health summit of Health Development Partners, he said there were 42,679 health workers on the payroll but the preliminary results of the census showed that about 5,000 of them could not be enumerated during the census.

"We are currently working with the Ghana Statistical Service to validate this figure. At the end of this month we will declare all staff that could not be enumerated as "Ghosts'' and their salaries will be stopped."

He said government initiated a programme to address the threat to service delivery from the brain drain of key health professionals by expanding the health training institutions and established the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and reviewed the salaries of health workers, among other things.

Major Quashiga said after arguing concurrently at the international level against the unethical recruitment practices of developed countries, the MOH projected that only 150 health workers would leave, 6500 would enter the training institutions and 5190 would be recruited to join the workforce, bringing an increase in the payroll by about 11,600.

He said though this was good news for health delivery, it had major implications for the wage bill and the Ministry's ability to finance the budget and this was the reason he personally supervised the cleaning up of the payroll last year.

Since there was the belief that there were still some ghost names on the payroll the census was carried with support from the Department for International Development and the World Bank.

It included, among other things, the collection of thumbprints and pictures of health workers on the payroll to minimise any possibility of impersonation, the Minister said. 20 Nov 07