Diploma nurses and midwives currently undertaking their national service at various health institutions across the country are demanding immediate payment of their allowance which has been in arrears for six months now.
According to the 2019/2020 rotation nurses, they have since the commencement of the national service in April this year not received their allowances, a situation they said is causing them “undue hardships”.
“The government has refused to pay us our service allowances after we have worked for 6 complete months and now almost in the middle of the seventh month,” Suta N. Fabian who is the convener said at a news conference in Wa on Monday.
The nurses and midwives say they are surprised at the delays in the payment of their allowances and wondered if they have committed any crime to deserve “this kind of punishment”.
The group said accommodation has become a problem for some of them as they are being ejected from their rented apartments over nonpayment of rent while others are struggling with paying of utility bills, feeding, and transportation to work.
“This unfortunate situation of government deliberate refusal to pay our allowances has left most personnel with no option than to be harassed and threatened by landlords to be ejected for nonpayment of rents, being harassed and humiliated by ward in-charges for not turning up for work on some particular days when they cannot get money to transport themselves to work, and working with empty stomachs among others.
“The hardship among us is absolutely excruciating and unbearable. What have we done as citizens to be denied our rightful entitlement?” they asked.
According to them, “a hungry nurse is an angry nurse and a potential killer,” hence urged authorities to act fast.
“Our allowances should be paid not later than 30th October 2019 with reference to the 2019 single spine salary structure for health interns (diploma). Failure of government to act within the ultimatum given shall compel us to do the “unthinkable” within the legal framework of our country,” threatened.
Meanwhile, they have asked all affected persons to exercise restraint as we make our legitimate demands from government.