By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Five Health Workers were dismissed from the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and the electronic Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (eCRVS) campaign. This was revealed by the Registrar of Birth and Death Certificates Mr Lamin B Fatty on Thursday 1st September 2022.
According to Mr Fatty, “we’ve seen some of our people who are found wanting. Five of them have already been dismissed. We discharged them from duty. Because we say that they are not complying with the registration protocol”. However, this was not the end as Mr Fatty warned that his Office “will take any legal action to anybody found wanting again. That has served as a warning to all those in the service provider that you don’t register outside you have to come on board”.
Blowing the Whistle and MoH Clarification
Last week Monday, 29th August 2022, Gainako published a story titled “Corruption & Poor Internet Hampers Issuance of Electronic Birth Certificates & Health Insurance Cards” highlighting corruption reported by the social media page of the MoH amongst other. Hours after the publication the MoH page published a clarification to the story claiming that “these allegations are not made by the Ministry of Health, instead they were reports from the public through our toll-free number 1025 and other social media outlets”.
“We, therefore, call on the news agency to get their facts right and avoid misquoting the statements made by the Ministry of Health in the near future as such misinformation can mislead the public and be a deterrent to the efforts of our gallant field officers involved the mass registration campaign” noted the social media post.
However, in a quick turn of events, a MoH Official admitted in a press conference just two days later that “some will say there are malpractices happening within ourselves. Of course, we are cognizant of that and there is no system that is 100% ok. We’ve seen some of our people who are found wanting”.
Five Fired for Registration Malpractices
Speaking on some of the malpractices Mr Fatty noted that “registration must be confidential; it must be permanent and then [applicants must] have — privacy. So personal data are individuals’ rights and no one should have access to it that’s why third-party registration is not allowed. You cannot register outside the centre or collect the information from outside and bring it into the registration centre and want it to be registered. Such people found wanting have been discharged of duty …”
Giving specifics about one of the malpractices detected, Mr Fatty explained that “even if you log on at odd hours the system will detect you. Because in one of our facilities we discovered that someone logged in at one (1) am in the morning. But in our control mechanics now we’ll shut the system at seven (7)pm and open it at seven (7)am. Nobody has access to it even if your given passwords”.
Prior Warning from the MoH
It can be recalled that the MoH published a prior warning to all workers involved in malpractices to desist from the act on 26th August 2022 via a statement published on social media. The warning notice which informed Gainako’s publication noted that “the Ministry of Health learns with dismay the conduct of certain officers in the ongoing National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and electronic Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (eCRVS)“.
“According to reports we continue to receive, these individuals are involved in dubious practices such as favouritism and collecting monies from applicants for the new eBirth Certificate”.
Most importantly the statement even condemned and distanced the MoH from the alleged unscrupulous practices. The MoH added that “we wish to condemn these unscrupulous activities and we totally dissociate ourself from such practices”.
“This is a stern warning to those individuals engaged in such practices to desist from the act with immediate effect. Individuals caught or evidence brought against them will be dealt with accordingly”.
“The Ministry of Health would like to inform the Public that the mass electronic birth registration and National Health Insurance Membership card registration teams comprise of Public Health Officers, Data Entry Clerks, Verification Officers, Canvassers, Approving Officers, Police Officers, Supervisors, ICT Officers and Logistics officers and anyone found wanting will be dealt with accordingly”.
Unfortunately, the warning was not strictly adhered to as at least five workers have now been fired for malpractices.
Here is a link to our previous publication.