Health Minister, Hon Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has clarified that not all health workers will enjoy large bonuses and tax exemptions but only frontline workers whose services are critical.
President Akufo-Addo on Sunday announced some measures taken by government to ameliorate the plight of health workers fighting the disease.
Among the measures are tax reliefs for the months of April, May and June, an insurance package of GH¢350,000 for each health personnel and allied professional at the forefront of the fight, as well as an additional allowance of 50 per cent of their basic salary per month for the months of March, April, May and June.
However, the Health Minister, addressing the media on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 stated that not all health workers will take advantage of the large bonus since they may not be doing any work worth it.
“All of us are health workers but not all of us would do some work that would make us take advantage of the large bonus,” he said.
The Minister also explained that some nurses and midwives were on study leave prior to the outbreak of the disease, whereas some had been asked by their facilities to go home as part of measures to contain the virus.
“The president is not thinking of leaving anyone behind… A number of us are on study leave, approved officially. Over 3000 nurses and midwives are on study leave. So prior to COVID-19, they were not going to work. As at now, they have not been deployed so they are staying at home.
“Nurses who are in school have closed and they are on holidays sort of, we have sent messages to them to stand by. Should we experience an upsurge and the numbers are running out, we will deploy a second group,” he explained.
He concluded that “all of us will get the tax exemption but honestly, if you compare those standing by in the school waiting to be deployed to Korle Bu, UGMC, Ga East and those of us sitting at home now, I wouldn’t make a conclusion.”
Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs)
Hon Kwaku Agyeman Manu, disclosed that the government, through the Trades Ministry has selected five (5) companies to sew about 3.6 million face masks that will distributed across the country, especially for health workers.
He said the Ministry of Health will receive delivery of 150,000 of the face masks each day starting from Wednesday, April 8, 2020.
The government has provided 15 Ayalolo buses which are transporting health workers between Accra and Tema.
He said the busses will be working throughout the day and even at night to facilitate free movement of health workers.
The Minister added that enough fuel has been provided for the busses but pleaded with health workers to observe social distancing in the buses that convey them to and from work.
Story by: Christian Yalley | universnewsroom.com