Sep 24, 2020 News
Nurses at the Linden Hospital Complex in Region 10 staged a protest yesterday calling for risk allowance to be included in their pay packages in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nurses who took to the streets with placards also called on the Regional Health authorities to look into their security concerns; to ensure their salaries are paid on time and that adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available for them to do their jobs.
Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Gregory Harris, told Kaieteur News that the concerns expressed by the nurses are being addressed at the level of management.
Dr. Harris explained, however, while issues of salaries and security can be sorted at a regional level, the nurses’ call for risk allowances to be addressed by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
“We currently have some nurses, lab and certain category of health workers who benefit from a risk allowance package and some who don’t. What the nurses want is for the risk allowances to be given across the board. This is something that has been raised with the Minister of Health who promised to meet with the nurses sometime after the budget presentations in Parliament, this week,” Dr. Harris explained.
At the interim, the RHO stated the management is deliberating on the other issues raised.
“The issue with the late payment has been addressed, I believe this is the only time that the salaries have not been on time and we explained to them that it is due to the transition of government … We will also be addressing their concerns about security and other matters as well,” the RHO added.
Earlier this month, newly installed Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, announced that the Government is considering making provision for risk allowance for health care workers.
“It is something requested, and it is under review,” said the Health Minister, adding that government is also budgeting for necessary supplies to keep frontline workers safe.
Dr. Anthony said one of government’s priorities has been the protection of health workers, including doctors, nurses and other ancillary workers, who have been dealing with cases of the disease.
“We are ensuring that we are protecting healthcare workers by procuring PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)… we spent resources trying to procure and get those equipment into Guyana,” the Health Minister stated.
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