Community Health Worker Reinstated and Put Back on Payroll after Ombudsman Commission’s Intervention

A Community Health worker attached to a Sub-Health Centre in the remote District of Papua New Guinea complained to the Ombudsman Commission that he was unlawfully suspended and taken off the payroll in 2019.    

After months of attempts to rectify the issues with the Provincial Health Authority, the Complainant lodged his complaint with the Ombudsman Commission on 20 August 2019.

The Ombudsman Commission noted from this complaint that the Community Health Worker and four other colleagues were working at a remote Sub-Health Centre in Papua New Guinea when they were put off the payroll.

Their initial posting was in another remote Health Centre however, due to incomplete Health Facilities including accommodation, they were sent to serve in another the neighbouring Local-level Government Health Centre of similar status.

This arrangement was communicated to all relevant parties, however, without prior consultation with the Health Workers, the District Authorities directed to have the Community Health workers suspended and taken off the payroll.   

The Commission confirmed with the Public Health Service Directorate that the Provincial Health Authority had undergone a minor refined structure that was approved in September 2022 by the Department of Personal Management. Through this structure, the Health Workers were appointed to a substantive position as Community Health Workers Level 6.

As a result of the Commission’s intervention, the Community Health Workers were reinstated and put on the payroll and have been receiving fortnightly salaries effective as of December 2022. 

The Ombudsman Commission closed the complaint on 11 April 2023.

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