Incentive packages for health workers in the fight against Covid-19 have been extended by three months, president Nana Akufo-Addo has announced.
The earliest date for the end of the tax waivers for all health workers and an additional 50 per cent of basic salary per month for frontline health workers is now September 30.
“Whilst we appreciate the efforts of our health workers, I continue to urge them to remain professional and compassionate,” the president said in his 13th address to the nation on the management of Covid-19.
Akufo-Addo first announced the incentive packages in April during his 5th address.
Good as his intentions seemed, there was widespread outcry, with critics calling for the 50 per cent adjustment to be worked into a scheme for all health workers.
Former president and presidential nominee of the opposition NDC John Mahama was one of these critics.
“It is known that health staff work as a team. From doctors, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory staff, cleaners, cooks, security personnel etc.
“Thus, it would have been of good judgment to allocate the incentive package to the entire healthcare staff rather than to frontline workers only,” Mahama said.
“Government should consider a package that benefits all health care staff who are working,” he added.
Also, agitations arose among health workers on who qualifies as a frontline health worker and deserving of the 50 per cent increment in stipends.
Addressing this concern, Akufo-Addo said he has “been assured that they have now been resolved, and payments will be effected from the end of June.”
“All frontline health workers, as defined by the Health Ministry, will continue to receive the additional allowance of 50 per cent of their basic salary per month, i.e. for July, August and September.
“I should reiterate that the insurance package for health workers is still in place,” he said in the televised address Sunday evening.
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