Govt defaults on promises to frontline health workers
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his 5th address to the nation on the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana announced that all health workers will be exempted from tax payment on their monthly emoluments for the next three months starting from April to June.
He also announced an additional package for health professionals at the frontline of the virus fight; a 50 per cent increment of basic salary from March to June 2020.
Reports which reached Happy98.9FM indicated that the government has not fulfilled its promise to these frontline workers.
Confirming these reports was Kofi Bonney, PhD. Senior Research Fellow at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).
In an interview on the Happy Morning Show with host, Samuel Eshun, the doctor revealed that employees of NMIMR have received their salaries for April but without packages promised them.
“We’ve been paid our April salaries but it was neither increased by 50% nor free from the tax exemptions promised us,” he revealed.
The researcher, however, believes the government has not forgotten about their promise and may be working hard to make sure all frontline workers receive their benefits.
He acknowledged that some of his colleagues have complained about the default, but that will not affect their dedication towards their work.
“We do our work out of love for the people, our tests and research help save us. It is true money is a good motivator but we will not let that stop us from helping others,” he noted.
The Ministry of Health has defined frontline health workers as personnel working and managing the 56 coronavirus treatment centres across the country, as well as those from the three laboratory institutions leading the testing for the deadly virus.
Also, the staff of the National Ambulance Service has been categorized as part of the frontline health workers who will enjoy the 50 percent pay increment announced by the government for COVID-19 frontline health workers.