STAFF FIRED FOR COLLECTING MONEY FROM RSE WORKERS

A staff of the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) was fired for allegedly using VCH facilities for his own personal benefit between 2018 and 2019.

Mr Mawa Joseph Reuben was accused of collecting fees for X-ray services from Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers during and after official working hours.

He was disciplined by the PSC Disciplinary Board after several witnesses confirmed seeing him collecting cash from clients at the X-ray unit.

An eyewitness said her intention to make the statement is to stop the practice of collecting cash directly from clients. She confirmed names which was submitted to the board as evidence comprised RSE workers.

He previously had his salary reduced to half during the period of his suspension around June this year and was issued a warning letter from the disciplinary board.

Meanwhile, Mr Reuben believes the allegations against him was due to his salary increase based on an adjustment by the Government Remuneration Tribunal (GRT) and his membership in an international health organization.

He also voiced concern on the process of the disciplinary action, saying the matter should be dealt with within VCH before going to the PSC Disciplinary Board.

Despite the allegations against the senior official, VCH Acting Medical Superintendent, Dr. Tony Harry, has called for a reinstatement of the staff concerned due to his expertise, experience and the fact that VCH relies heavily on the X-ray reports that he produces.

The VCH is looking at strengthening these following areas to avoid similar issues such as this in the future - improving its cashier system to be more transparent, use of stamp, review of compliance officer and a separate X-ray for RSE workers.

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