E.F. Small Hospital nurses, orderlies raise concerns on working conditions Chief Medical Director Clarifies

By MUHAMMED S. BAH
More than 100 nurses and orderlies working at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), are raising concerns over late Front view of EFSTHpayment of night allowances and at a low rate.
These concerns being raised by the hospital staff are contained in a petition signed by more than 120 people which was sent to the hospital’s management since November 2015.The petition highlighted, among others, the concerns regarding the irregularity with the payment of night allowances which has been dragging since January 2015 and the low payment of the night allowances which, it states, needs to be increased.
The staff indicate that the trained nurses are being paid D20, and nurse attendants and orderlies are paid D10.00 per night and which they said is too small and asking the management of the hospital to look into and address.
Information regarding the petition sent by the hospital staff prompted this reporter to meet the management for its response to this development.
Prof. M.I.A. Khalil, Chief Medical Director EFSTH, who doubles as the Acting Vice Chancellor University of the Gambia, confirmed to this reporter at his office on Tuesday 5 July 2016, that the management has received the petition and that the board had met to discuss the issues raised by the workers. He said the hospital board has agreed to work on the improvement of allowances.
The Chief Medical Director, however, noted that this cannot be retroactive because the hospital is running under an estimated budget. He said the Board has decided to do some adjustments on the budget and if it is approved then they can implement it next year in 2017.
“We the board have met and discussed the issue and the management will include it in the budget in consultation with the ministry and if it is approved then it can be implemented next year. We even had a meeting with the nurses who raised these concerns. Our hospital board comprises the ministry of health and PMO, as well, so it is already approved by the board,” said Prof. Khalil.
Talking on the late payment of allowances, Prof. Khalil said this happens when the money is delayed from the Ministry which makes it difficult for them to pay on time. He, however, noted that as at now the hospital does not owe any arrears to the nurses because the management has recently instructed the cashier to pay them their night allowances.