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News: Over 300 Covid health workers dismissed from their jobs send complaint letter to PM Abiy

Frontline covid health workers in Ethiopia. Photo: WHO/Archive

Addis Abeba – About 340 health professionals have sent a letter of complaint to the Prime Minister’s Office arguing that the ministry of health dismissed them after three years’ service on contract bases.

In the letter the professionals sent to the Prime Minister’s office, they stated that in an effort to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19 the ministry of health hired them on contract bases but later the Civil Service Commission issued a directive that makes their contract permanent.

The health professionals who had been serving on contract since March 2019 have complained to the Prime Minister that they were fired in violation of the directive and despite previous decisions to offer them permanent employment contract.

They also complained that they were alienated from other health professionals who have been made permanent and told to leave health institutions they were serving at, handing over any property in their hands that belongs to the institutions.

One of the complainants, who prefer to remain anonymous, told Addis Standard that while they were told in a letter that they would be made permanent, only 80 percent of the experts got the chance.

“The Ministry of Health had given us a letter promising to change our contract to permanent previously, but we realized that our contract period would end this month”, the source added.

The health workers say despite their frequent request, they were unable to get any solution from the ministry of health.

Ayele Teshome (PhD), State Minister of ministry of health, said that the civil service has allowed the health professionals to be permanent in line with the capacity of the health facility where they work, and more than 5,000 health professionals have been made permanent.

“The institutions did not [offer] permanent [contracts] to some of the experts who were found to have deficiency in their performances and those who were found to have ethical problems,” the state minister told Addis Standard.

He said that there are no rights violations in terminating the contracts of these health workers but if they [the health workers] think that the health institutions have made mistakes, while handling employment contracts, they can legally ask the institutions. AS

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