Gov’t extends Covid-19 incentives for health workers Featured

By Kwasi Frimpong June 29, 2020 181 0
President Akufo-Addo President Akufo-Addo

The government has extended incentive packages given to health workers for another next three months. This means that “all health workers will pay no income taxes for the next three months, i.e. July, August and September.”

Again, all frontline health workers, as defined by the Ministry of Health, will continue to receive the additional allowance of 50 per cent of their basic salary for the next three months.

This was announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday, when he addressed the nation on “Ghana’s Enhanced Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic” for the 13th time.

The President acknowledged that implementation of the incentive package directive for the months of April, May and June had been fraught with some challenges, caused mainly by the protracted discussions over the definition of who qualifies as “frontline health workers”.

He, however, said he has been assured that the issues have now been resolved, and that payments will be effected from the end of June, adding that the insurance package for health workers is still in place.

The President therefore urged health practitioners in the country to remain professional and compassionate in the discharge of their duties, saying “every avoidable death, be it corona-related or not is a tragedy.”

 

Incentive

President Akufo-Addo, in recognition of the efforts by health practitioners in the fight against the pandemic, announced, during his fifth address to the nation, on Sunday, April 5 2020, an incentive package to motivate and express appreciation to them.

 

The extension of the incentives, according to the President, is “due to the immense dedication and hard work being exhibited by our healthcare workers, who continue to care for those affected by the virus, and for the sick in general.”

 

Early treatment

 

The President asked Ghanaians to seek immediate medical attention at the nearest health facility whenever they begin to experience symptoms such as fever, persistent cough, bodily pains, loss of taste and smell, and difficulty in breathing.

“The fight against COVID-19 has been to save lives, and reduce the number of deaths. The Ghana Health Service has observed that most of the patients that have been lost to the virus died either on arrival at the hospital, or within 48 hours after arrival,” he said.

“Most patients, who are critically ill and need intensive care, do, indeed, survive the virus, if they seek medical help promptly. For example, out of 53 patients admitted into intensive care units at the Ga East Municipal Hospital and the University of Ghana Medical Centre, since the pandemic struck, 44, i.e. 83 per cent, have fully recovered, and have been discharged,” he stated.

 “Unfortunately, we still have some persons in the country who are not taking the dangers associated with this disease seriously, and, therefore, do not seek medical help as soon as they have symptoms that suggest an infection of the virus. There should be no fear of stigmatisation or embarrassment with being diagnosed with COVID-19,” he added.

Back to school

Meanwhile, the President has given assurance that measures have been put in place to protect final year Junior High School students who are returning to school today to prepare for their exit exams.

The students will be in school for 11 weeks of preparation and revision, and use one week to take the exams.

Ghana’s positive cases, as at Saturday, June 27, 2020, stands at 17,351, with 12,994 recoveries, representing some 75 per cent of positives, and 4,245 active cases, having conducted 294,867 tests. Thirty persons are severely and critically ill, with 112, constituting 0.6 per cent of positives dead.

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