Health Minister-designate Vows to Absorb Health Workers on GOL Payroll

first_imgThe Minister of Health-designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn, has hit the ground running to make peace with health workers by vowing to do all in her capacity, if confirmed by the Senate, to absorb health workers into the Government’s payroll system.This has been one of the contentious issues between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NHWAL). Health workers, through their president, Mr. Joseph Tamba, have said that they want all of their colleagues to be included on the payroll. More than 2000 public health workers are not on the GOL payroll although some of them receive other incentives.Dr. Dahn made the commitment when she officially closed the three-day Health System Assessment and Investment Plan Consensus Meeting, which was being held at the Paynesville City Hall.    The Minister-designate’s first public pronouncement, just hours after being appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was about the health workers who had threatened through their leadership to oppose her appointment. She would have to be confirmed by the Senate before performing the functions of the Health Minister-proper.Dr. Dahn, who has served as Deputy Minister for Health Services for the last eight years, requested Senator Dr. (MD) Peter S. Coleman and Representative Johnson Toe Chea to grant a team from the Ministry to convey to lawmakers the importance of putting more money into the health budget so that health workers can be included on government’s payroll.“We will do all we can to get them on the payroll. Even if it means sitting in hot offices at the Ministry just to get them on the payroll, that will be done. We are willing to make the sacrifices in order to get our health workers on the payroll,” Health Minister-designate Dahn assured everyone in the hall.As she left the stage, she received a standing ovation from the conferees, including international and local health partners.Dr. Dahn’s statement has been received in good faith by Mr. Joseph Tamba, president, NHWAL.  As his personal response, he stated, “I want to thank Dr. Dahn for this initiative. I look forward to see it coming to pass.” He, however, added that the health workers’ association was waiting to see what happens.Speaking earlier, Senator Dr. Peter Coleman said discussion on the issue of extra funding to put all the health workers on payroll is now going to be easy for him and other lawmakers who advocate for them (health workers) to their fellow lawmakers.Dr.  Coleman, a former Minister of Health and Social Welfare, further stated that the deadly Ebola virus disease has taught a lesson that there is a need to give health workers good pay.In his remarks, Rep. Johnson Toe Chea also reiterated the need for health workers to be adequately compensated in line with their jobs because their lives are always at risk.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

German female ref ready to whistle in Bundesliga

first_img0Shares0000German referee Bibiana Steinhaus gestures during the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany © AFP/File / JOHANNES EISELEBERLIN, Germany, Aug 16 – Germany’s Bibiana Steinhaus insists she is no feminist trailblazer as she prepares to become the first female ref in Europe’s top leagues having already tamed Bayern Munich’s stars.The 38-year-old is on the official list of Bundesliga referees for the 2017/18 season, which starts Friday, meaning she will become the first female ref in the top flight of Germany, England, Spain, France or Italy. Steinhaus’ first Bundesliga match has yet to be announced, but she oversaw Bayern Munich’s 5-0 win at minnows Chemnitz last Saturday in the first-round of the German Cup and proved she can handle star players.She gave Bayern’s Franck Ribery a playful punch on the arm after the French winger cheekily untied her boot laces before a free-kick.“She’s strong, she has a lot of power,” said Ribery.“It was funny, she played along and was in good spirits.“You can have fun with referees, but it’s also important that there’s mutual respect.”Steinhaus says her promotion to the Bundesliga is a “great incentive” and reward for her hard work, but shuns her role as a trailblazer.“I never planned, and still don’t today, to break new grounds of emancipation,” she said at a referee’s training camp in July.“I am only doing what I love.”Steinhaus has taken charge of around 80 German second division matches since 2011, refereeing the women’s final at the London Olympic Games tournament and this year’s women’s Champions League final.She has already acted as the fourth official in Germany’s top tier and shrugged off Pep Guardiola’s attempt to put his arm around her shoulders when the then-Bayern coach remonstrated with her on the touchlines in 2014.Unfortunately, the 1.81m Steinhaus has already experienced direct sexism on the pitch.During a second division match in 2015, she sent off Hoffenheim’s Germany international Kerem Demirbay, then playing for Fortuna Duesseldorf, who told her women had no place in football.The remark led to him receiving a five-match ban by the German FA.Steinhaus, who works with a fitness coach, acknowledges that refereeing in the Bundesliga will challenge her both on and off the pitch.“I like to say that the Bundesliga is another step up, I have worked intensively and the speed is different,” said Steinhaus.“Certainly, as a female referee, I will be under special scrutiny from the start of the season, especially from the media.“I don’t seek public attention and my colleagues know me well enough to know that.”Steinhaus is a policewoman and in a relationship with English former top ref Howard Webb.She can expect to have her decisions scrutinised by fans in football-mad Germany.Claudia Neumann, Germany’s first female commentator, experienced a sexist backlash on social media when she took the microphone for state broadcaster ZDF during last year’s European championships.“In football, which is the favourite child of German men, changes are about as welcome as an annoying bout of diarrhoea,” Neumann told SID, an AFP subsidiary.A survey by Loughborough University has found only 3.7 percent of senior positions in European football are occupied by women.Even in women’s football, 10 of the 12 teams in Germany’s top flight are coached by men.Nevertheless, Steinhaus is relishing her chance to make history by blowing her whistle in the Bundesliga.“It has always been my dream and I am delighted that it will come true,” she said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more