NEWS

Health Staff Risk Losing Job If They Refuse To Serve After Hours

Health staff who refuse to provide health care services to the public after hours risk being terminated from their job. The message was emphasised by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Acting Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong.
21 Sep 2020 11:02
Health Staff Risk Losing Job If They Refuse To Serve After Hours
Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong.

Health staff who refuse to provide health care services to the public after hours risk being terminated from their job.

The message was emphasised by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Acting Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong.

The unprofessional behaviour of some health staff was brought to the ministry’s attention by concerned members of the public.

A circular dated September 17, authorised by Dr Fong was circulated to all health staff reminding them of the importance of health care services.

Dr Fong said the ministry had received reports of the unprofessional behaviour of staff refusing to provide health care services to the general public after hours.

He said the issue was due to the non-payment of overtime and rural and remote allowance to staff.

In an interview, Dr Fong said, there was a misunderstanding among some staff who thought that health services after hours would be suspended because overtime was not being paid anymore.

“I have clarified that with everybody and the point is we were trying to make sure that people didn’t misuse that misunderstanding to try and give an excuse not to do their work after hours,” he said.

“It’s a one-off issue and since we were beginning to receive some complaints about it, that’s why we are dealing with it.”

In the 2020/2021 National Budget, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced that although civil servants were not going to receive pay cuts, Government will be taking some measures to reduce spending.

As a result, meal allowances have been reduced from $20 to $10 and instead of paying overtime, staff will be given time off in lieu of overtime.

Rural housing allowance has also been suspended.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, “Compared with what’s happening to jobs in Fiji and around the world, these are extraordinarily light asks.

“The fact that salaries in the civil service aren’t being cut, when so many jobs across the economy have been, is testament to the Government’s willingness to walk the talk when it comes to being Fiji’s employer-of-choice. We are looking after our people; a commitment we hope other companies match.”

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

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