Some members of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) force are disgruntled with their authorities for their conditions of service pertaining to their medication.
Speaking to Awoko Press at Fachima hall in Koidu town during the visit of UN/Diplomats to Koidu city recently, some personnel explained that they are no longer getting the facility due them. They alleged that they are now paying for their medical bills although the sum of ten thousand Leones is being deducted from their salaries every month. They questioned what is being done with the monies being collected from them throughout the years. Some police personnel told this press that some years back police personnel and their families were receiving medication at the government hospital along Combema road and later the same arrangement was transferred to Raph Mini hospital at Nyandeyama section in the city but that too has been stopped.
Speaking to the Regional Support Officer at the Police headquarters in Kenema city about the welfare of personnel in terms of medication, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Eric Musa explained that the personnel’s welfare in terms of medication is being taken care of as of now in the region. He said previously the medication of the police personnel was centralized in Freetown but that has now been decentralized since last year. Talking about the number of personnel in the region, he disclosed that the region is having a little above one thousand personnel and the sum of ten thousands is being deducted from each personnel’s salary for medication in Freetown. He said late last year, the head quarter have started allocating money for the personnel medication at regional level by depositing into the medical account at regional levels. He disclosed that the headquarters in Freetown have already lodged the sum of 13 million Leones into the medical account for the eastern region and this money is being allocated to the six Local Unit Commanders (LUC) in the region. Further explaining he said Tankoro and Motema police division in Kono district and Tongo division in Kenema district each received two million Leones, while Kailahun and Daru divisions received 1.5 million Leones each. ASP Musa said a police personnel, his wife and four children are entitled to the medication facility but was quick to expose that some personnels are bent on misusing the facility by putting more extended family members under the program.He also added that police personnel and their families who become sick receive medical attention from the medical officer Inspector Augustine Ensah who then presents the medical bill from the hospital for the bill to be settled immediately, He said the eastern block of the police has six Local Unit Commanders and each LUC has his support officer while the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of police east Al-Shek Kamara is the overall boss of the region with his regional support officer. He further explained that the money deducted at Police headquarter in Freetown is not only used for medical attention but for other welfare. He intimated Awoko that three police personnel were sent from Sierra Leone to Ghana to do finger print studies and the ongoing construction of medical infrastructure in Kenema are all money from the welfare fund. He said the foundation of the medical hospital for police personnel in Kenema city was laid sometime last year under the regime of AIG Elizabeth Turay and construction started four months ago but has come to a standstill due to funding constraints. There are also plans to erect a hospital at all divisional headquarters in the region when funds are available. He agreed that the police headquarters in Freetown is treating police personnels in terms of medication but was quick to state that there are few constraints.
Sources very close to the police in Kenema said that there are about 1,482 police personnel in the region and the sum of 10,000 is being knifed from their salary every month at police headquarters in Freetown. Some personnel are questioning the judicious use of the money that is collected from personnel nationwide and are calling for an explanation.
All the personnel that spoke to Awoko press in Kono, Tongo and Kenema divisions expressed dissatisfaction about the money deducted for Medicare from their salaries on monthly basis.