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Sierra Leone News: Health Ministry attendance records raise concerns

The problem is the Ministry of Health and Sanitation cannot keep track of healthcare workers attendance and work schedules. Another challenge is the Ministry HR Directorate’s inability to produce accurate information on staff attendance because out stations do not provide such information. These are huge problems and are an embarrassment for the Ministry and top management.
According to the Human Resource Director, MoHS, Kwame Yankson, the Ministry, through its Human Resource Directorate, is receiving attendance reports from 1,257 facilities with 9,573 healthcare workers. Last December, 356 healthcare workers were identified as having unauthorised absentees and may be subject to sanctions. In December 2017, 47 healthcare workers were sanctioned for attendance infractions, which saved the government Le36.8 million. At present, there are 430 staff on study leaves.
The Ministry has recently launched an electronic attendance monitoring system (AMS) yesterday launched the MoHS health worker attendance monitoring system, (AMS) to address some of the attendance problems.
The AMS revealed 58 staff who had passed away but whose names were still on the payroll. Yankson explained that some of the staff died over a year ago. This culling of dead staff has saved the country Le58.2 million a month.
Program Manager, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Noemi Schramm, said the AMS allows the MoHS to ensure each month that only staff who come to work on time are fully paid. This will also ensure a clean, accurate payroll. She noted how this system can be replicated in other MDA’s, to save government money and inculcate the habit of coming to work on time.
The AMS was first introduced in 2010 as part of the free health care initiative. The system started as an offline tool in Microsoft Excel. Now, the AMS is online and receives data from Human Resource Management teams via smartphone apps.
The AMS uses near real-time electronic reporting that aims to improve the attendance of each government health worker. Hopefully, through closer monitoring, the Ministry will better manage staff by applying sanctions for unauthorised absences. The system will also reduce corruption and improve spending efficiency in service delivery.
The AMS was made possible with funds from UK aid and with technical support by Charlie Goldsmith Associates.
By Ade Campbell
Wednesday January 31, 2018.

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