Coronavirus: Mahama ‘fights’ for health workers

Former president John Dramani Mahama

Former President John Mahama has urged the government to expand its bracket of those labeled ‘frontline health workers’.

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In his 9th letter in a series of letters during the lockdown, Mr Mahama addressed the incentive package President Nana Akufo-Addo allocated to health workers at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 in the country.

According to the former president, it is uncertain who exactly ‘frontline health workers’ are.

He said, “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.

“It may have been useful to consider a package that would cover all healthcare staff rather than a hefty package for only ‘frontline health workers’. Government should consider a package that benefits all healthcare staff who are working.”

He also encouraged government to consult with professional health workers groups on how “to administer the incentives” as this “can result in a conclusion that is acceptable to all of them.”

On Sunday, April 5, President Akufo-Addo announced some incentive packages for frontline health workers, which include;

  • An insurance package, with an assured sum of ¢350,000 for each
    health personnel and allied professional at the forefront of the fight.
  • A daily allowance of ¢150 being paid to contact tracers.
  • Government
    has also decided that all health workers will not pay taxes on their
    emoluments for the next three months, i.e. April, May and June.
  • Furthermore,
    all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of
    50% of their basic salary per month, i.e. for March, April, May and
    June. The March allowance will be paid alongside that of April.