Finance Ministry urged to expedite action on salaries of unpaid pharmacist house officers

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana has appealed to the Ministry of Finance to expedite action on the financial clearance for the 203 house officers who are working in various hospitals across the country and have not been paid since January 2022.

The Pharmacy Council posted the newly qualified pharmacists to various accredited hospitals in Ghana to begin the 2022/2023 mandatory housemanship from 24th January 2022 to 24th January 2023.

However, the Pharmacists house officers across the country have not been paid for the past seven months.

Speaking at a press conference on the unbearable delay of payment of salaries to the house officers, the President of PSGH, Samuel Kow Donkoh, said the House Officers have neither been given appointment letters by the Ministry of Health (MOH) nor via their user agencies since receiving their posting letters from the Pharmacy Council.

He said the MOH had not been able to do so because the Ministry of Finance did not give any financial clearance, hence no salaries have been paid to date for the past seven months.

“The peculiarity of this case is the absence of the appointment letters that guarantees payment of their due salaries,” he said and called on the house officers to rescind their decision to withdraw their services on 29th August as we continue to work on their behalf and engage all relevant stakeholders for an amicable resolution.

“For some house officers, it is not even about going on strike due to delay of salary payments, but they have literally run out of money for transportation to go to work and come back to their rented rooms. We therefore appeal to the Ministry of Finance to give this issue the urgent attention and intervention it deserves,” he said.

Mr Dontoh said the house officers’ situation was a precarious one because until they complete their mandatory 12-month period of housemanship, they could not be employed by the government in the public sector or superintend Community Pharmacies in the private sector.

He urged the Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Finance to ensure that during the 2023/2024 housemanship period, this undue delay in payment of house officers do not recur by ensuring swift processes that are in sync with the Ministry of Finance.

This will ensure that the appropriate budget for the cadre of pharmacists’ house officers who must undergo a mandatory 12-month Housemanship to be placed on the permanent register of pharmacists in the country is achieved.

“While PSGH dialogues with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance to resolve the current situation, we expect all stakeholders to present the estimated numbers of house officers to be budgeted for in the 2023/2024 housemanship period to the MOH for onward submission to the Ministry of Finance by the end of this month. This will ensure that their salary allocation can be captured in the 2023 national budget,” he added.

Source: GNA

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