GMA Want Gov't To Reinstate COVID-19 Tax Waivers For Health Workers
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has asked government to reinstate the tax waivers that were given to frontline health workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.
In April this year, President Akufo-Addo announced allowances for all frontline health workers; specifically 50% of their basic salaries.
In addition, they were given a three-month tax holiday, which was extended in August to cover the months of July, August and September.
Speaking at the GMA's 62nd Annual General Conference, dubbed: “Managing A Pandemic in Ghana- The COVID-19 Experience”, the President of the Association, Dr. Frank Ankobea, said the reinstatement of the package will encourage frontline health personnel to continue making sacrifices.
“COVID-19, per the data available to the Ghana Medical Association, has so far affected 294 doctors with some fatalities. It is our firm belief that these numbers probably are conservatives. We continue to entreat and urge all health workers to continue to take the necessary precautions in performing our duties. The Ghana Medical Association will like to express its appreciation to the government for the six months tax waiver that was given to health workers during this ongoing pandemic.
“It was our expectation that an extension to cover the rest of the year was in the offing but it wasn’t . All the same, the GMA will like the government to reinstate the tax waiver for the months of November and December 2020 as end of year package to all health workers. Indeed such a package will motivate the health workers to give off their best.”
So far, COVID-19 has affected 294 doctors.
A Deputy Minister for Health, Dr. Okoe Boye, says all frontline health workers who qualify to benefit from the government's tax-free allowances, which will be 50% of their respective basic salaries, would be duly paid.
In addition, he says all health personnel who are yet to benefit from the fully-funded insurance packages for those who become casualties along the way, including the families of those who have died, would be duly compensated.
“An insurance package was signed for all health workers that unfortunately contracted the virus and suffered some deformity. And we are still working out all the processes so that all those who have passed can benefit from the life insurance. As you all know, health workers across the country benefited from the tax exemptions, and we also put in place a 50 percent basic allowance for frontline workers and largely we have made progress. Most of them have been paid and there are others who have made their case, and we are still working on it to make sure that all those who have sacrificed are rewarded and appreciated”, he said.