Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu says government has begun paying frontline health workers the allowances promised them by the government.
President Akufo-Addo in one of his national broadcasts announced that all frontline health workers in the country helping in the fight against COVID-19 would receive an additional allowance of 50 percent of their basic salary per month.
Months after this promise was made, some health workers have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction about the non-payment of the promised allowance.
But in an interview, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu urged the disgruntled workers to exercise patience since payment had begun.
“We had meetings with the Christian hospitals, the quasi institutions, and every terrain of the hospital sector. We met with their leaders and the associations as well, and they were demanding that we should pay them. We told them that we didn’t even have the budget to go that far so we asked them to bring in a list of those that were at the forefront of fighting the disease because in some places we haven’t encountered any COVID case in some facilities, meaning they are not frontline persons.”
“And that is what has delayed the payment, but we have started paying and we have even presented a document to Parliament to tell them how we are managing it. I know for sure that not all will be satisfied but we are still dialoguing and engaging them. From time to time we see new groups coming up, even those who buried the few that have died are also coming in with demands,” he added.
Meanwhile, Parliament on Friday, August 14, 2020, approved tax waivers to the tune of ¢174 million for health care personnel who are at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronavirus.
The approval is in line with President Akufo-Addo’s promise to give health workers additional allowances of 50% as tax-free on their basic salary per month.
The waiver will cover personal emoluments and additional allowances for July, August and September 2020.
Of the amount, GH₵168.98 million will cater for personal emoluments and GH₵5.7 million additional allowances.
The tax incentive is designed as a token compensation to encourage healthcare workers, especially frontline health personnel, to continue to make sacrifices in caring for those infected with the coronavirus disease, and in caring for the sick in general.