Village health workers owed M19 million

Village health workers owed M19 million

MASERU – THE Ministry of Health owes village health workers a staggering M19 million in unpaid allowances, the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) heard on Monday.
The committee demanded answers from the ministry on why the allowances remained unpaid despite the vital work carried out by village health workers.

Director General of Health Services Dr. ’Nyane Letsie said they have a data-base of village health workers in all the 10 districts of the country.
She told the committee that according to their data-base, all village health workers have been paid.
But the committee was stunned by her response because all village health workers in the constituencies were complaining that they are yet to receive their allowances.

Dr Letsie said village health workers are split into two: those paid by the government and others paid by the ministry’s partners such as the Global Fund.
She accused the bodies that are supposed to pay the village health workers of being responsible for the delays.

Members of the committee expressed disgust that the government is failing to pay people M400 per person for people involved in caring for the sick.
MP for Qalo constituency Thabang Kholumo said the ministry is treating the village health workers unfairly.
“The worst part is that these village health workers are doing very important work of helping the ill people,” Kholumo said.

Mpheteng Tšukulu, a Finance Manager at the Ministry of Finance, said starting from August 2015 till August this year, the ministry has failed to pay the village health workers because of budgetary constraints.
PAC chairperson Selibe Mochoboroane hit back, saying the ministry has to pay the village health workers.

“It is not your business whether the budget is small or not, what you have to do is to pay the village health workers,” he said.
Tšukulu promised the committee that the village health workers will be paid by March next year.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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