Junior doctors skeptical about Finance Minister’s promise to pay them

Some junior doctors across the country who have not been paid their salaries for eleven months say they have no faith in the Finance Minister’s assurance that they will be paid in two weeks.

The doctors say their mistrust is foundered on the fact that previous assurances by government yielded no results.

The doctors have been working without salaries although some of them say they have been processed for payment.

They have planned to picket at the offices of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, beginning Monday, July 27, 2015 until the salaries due them are fully paid.

Commenting on the subject on JOY FM and MultiTV’s News Analysis Programme, Newsfile Finance Minister Seth Terkper said agitated medical doctors may receive their 11 months’ salary arrears in two weeks’ time.

“I can assure them…in two weeks’ time, those whose clearances have been forwarded and awaiting financial credit would be paid,” Seth Terkper said.

Explaining the cause of the almost one year delay in the payment of the salaries to the health workers, the Minister said the situation has been caused by the current remuneration system, stressing that there are plans to solve the problem.

He said government has made bold strides in automating all paper applications in the public sector – including those for leave, transfer, payment, employment etc.

According to him, the current system takes 30 months for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to enter the personal data of the young doctors into government’s payroll system.

“The reason being that, once you leave school, and you are posted, you go to your district and you start the application process there. In your district, that paper work – and it is manual – is brought all the way to the region and to the national. Then they are put together and someone has to input them before it interfaces with the payroll. This is what is causing the delay”.

The doctors however remain unconvinced by neither the explanation nor the assurance.

They say in spite of the challenges and cumbersome processes enumerated by Mr Terkper, their colleagues at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi got paid all their salaries.

Two of the 91 doctors rushed to the Joy FM studios to confront the minister with evidence of previous assurance which did not materialize.

They said just as their colleagues at Komfo Anokye, they too can and must be paid without further delay.

The two week period proposed by the finance minister is proposing is simply too far.


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