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22.03.2006 Regional News

Wa Regional Hospital lay off 30 casual workers

By GNA

Wa, March 22, GNA - The Wa Regional Hospital has laid off 30 out of its 55 casual labourers due to inadequate funds to pay their salaries. While some of the workers are still licking their wounds and thinking of what to do next to sustain their family responsibilities, the health authorities are also pondering over how they could maintain good sanitation without the services of the laid off workers. Dr Felix Ahorsu, the Medical Director of the Wa Regional Hospital who confirmed the dismissals in an interview with the GNA, said the workers' presence was plunging the hospital administration into serious financial difficulties.

He said the hospital was paying almost 30 million cedis to the casual workers in terms of salaries, social security fund and income tax without any corresponding fast income generation. Dr Ahorsu said the situation became worse when the government raised the national minimum wage from 13,000 cedis to 16,000 cedis hence the decision to lay off over half of the workers.

He said apart from the security whose role was indispensable at the moment, there was nothing they could do about other laid off workers such as orderlies, cleaners among others.

Mr Yussif Tanko, the Hospital Administrator, said the casual workers were all paid from the internally generated funds that were not increasing with the increase in national minimum wage and so it was fair to withdraw the services of the workers.

He said when the hospital's financial position improved they would re-engage some of the laid off workers since it was stated on their letters that they were on suspension.

Two of the affected workers who spoke to the GNA with pleas of anonymity said although they were employed as casual workers, the notices given them was rather too short.

One of them said he had gained experience from his three year schedule at the hospital and therefore could be employed elsewhere. Most of the affected workers had worked between six months and four years and have been receiving between 500,000 cedis and 700,000 cedis.

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