The ministry of health has directed executives at national referral hospitals, regional referral hospitals and supervisors in districts to rein in health workers who have made it a habit to absent themselves from work.
According to the ministry's permanent secretary Dr. Diana Atwine, a recent support supervision exercise and on-spot checks of various government-owned medical facilities revealed persistent absenteeism, late coming and neglect of performance management duties by health workers contrary to the rules and regulations governing public officers.
The permanent secretary says that many health facilities have persistently developed duty rosters, with health workers working an average of 12 to 14 days, a month, which breaches their contract with the government.
“Please be informed that this level of attendance to duty is unsatisfactory and is tantamount to cheating government!” Dr. Atwine said.
“Therefore, the responsible officers must review the current duty rosters and correct this irregularity as a matter of urgency.”
In an October 19 letter to the executives and supervisors, the permanent secretary directed them to punish workers caught breaking the law.
“The purpose of this circular, therefore, is to require you to address the rampant unsatisfactory attendance to duty and absenteeism among Health Workers in your institution,” she said.
“As you are aware, Public Officers are employed in public trust and on the understanding that their lives are at the disposal of Government,” she went on.
“I… urge you to take appropriate disciplinary action against public officers, who have been absenting themselves from duty without permission from their supervisors and report back to me within two weeks from the date of this circular letter.”