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Sierra Leone News: Junior Doctors to receive bio-hazard allowance

The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, has assured Junior Doctors that their concerns will be addressed through a pay package, with location and biohazard allowances amongst others. The Junior Doctors Association visited the Health Minister in the Ministry conference hall at the Youyi building in Freetown. In November 2018, the Junior Doctors Association went on a strike for failure on the part of the government to address their concerns including pay, conditions of service and other issues. Some doctors face biological hazards or biohazards in the course of their duties. Biohazards are dangerous biological substances including viruses, bacteria, micro-organisms or toxins that can affect human health. According to Dr. Wurie, most of the concerns raised by the Doctors are management issues, aside from salaries. He said, “I am pleased you raise such issues in order for us to be aware of them and see how we can address some of them.” He said that the Government has agreed to pay a bio-hazard allowance. He said Doctors were trained to prevent such hazards. “I hope that the uncalled allowances will ensure 24 hours service,” and stressed also on the importance of location allowances. The Minister informed the Doctors that the Ministry “has put modalities in place to address the management issues,” which they raised in all tertiary hospitals across the country and assured that by the end of January 2019 all cadre of health work will receive an attractive package. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Amara Jambai, said there will be a change of management at the Connaught Hospital and similar changes will be extended to the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital and Ola During Hospital. The President of the Junior Doctors Association, Dr. Abdul Gibril Njie, said the meeting was a follow-up in order to get an update on how far the Ministry has gone in addressing their concerns. He pledged his commitment, on behalf of the Association, to continue to save lives.

MJB/9/1/19

By Mohamed J. Bah

Thursday January 10, 2019.

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