Tonga’s Ministry of Finance says it has sorted out payment issue with the staff at Vaiola Hospital and started making out payments.
One of the top officials at the Finance who responded to Kaniva's email asked not to be named, said the “overtime for July 2013 had been settled, the verification of [overtime] for August 2013 was just finalized and placed to Treasury for payment, and for September will go through the same scrutiny process”
The confirmation of payment came following a complaint raised by the staff at Vaiola Hospital with media this month saying they were not paid for overtime works they called in to do in July to September.
Some claimed they were still called in to work after hours in October.
It is understood that salaries and wages of the hospitals employees in Tonga are paid through an Australia-Tonga Partnership for Development aid fund.
The Ministry of Health said an expert from Australia had reviewed the ministry’s wages and salaries recently.
Following the review, Dr 'Akau'ola, the Director for Health reportedly said a report had been submitted to the Ministry of Finance.
The source at the Ministry of Finance said, “The more important context to capture from Government's perspective and financial point is that cost control [that is] within budget and not undermining other health priorities, predictability and sustainability are priority as overtime costs for the Ministry of Health had increased over 10 percent per annum over the last 2 years higher than the actual salary costs increases”.