The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has welcomed the special packages given frontline health workers who are combating the Coronavirus pandemic.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation announced that effective April 2020, all frontline health workers in the pandemic fight will among other things receive an additional allowance of 50% of their basic salary per month for the next three months as well as a three month tax holiday because of their contribution.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Justice lauded the President’s move describing it as an acknowledgement of the crucial role health professionals are playing in helping stem the spread of the virus in Ghana.
“I think the President by and large has acknowledged the good work health professionals are currently doing in this battle against this visible enemy. It is great that the government has recognized our inputs and what we are all doing out there. And we are doing this at the peril of our lives. So if the government thinks that it has to give us some form of motivation to help us deliver more than what we are doing, I think it is welcoming and we are grateful to the President,” he said.
President Nana Akufo-Addo made the announcement during his fifth national address on Sunday, April 5, 2020, when he updated Ghanaians on the fight against the spread of the novel Coronavirus disease in the country.
“Government has decided that all health workers will not pay taxes on their emoluments for the next three months, i.e. April, May, and June,” the President said.
He also disclosed that “all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of fifty percent (50%) of their basic salary per month, i.e April, May, and June. The March allowance will be paid alongside that of April.”
President Akufo-Addo also stated that in a bid to protect the lives of the frontline health workers, the government had procured some essentials needed by health workers to enable them discharge their duties efficiently.
All staff deserve allowances for COVID-19 fight – Nurses Association
Meanwhile, the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) is demanding that the government's stimulus package to frontline health personnel in the Coronavirus fight covers all nurses and midwives across the country.
In a Citi News interview, President of the Association Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo expressed gratitude to the President for the initiative but quickly added that all health workers are exposed- therefore, the stimulus package should not be restricted to frontline personnel only.
“The initiative is good and we are grateful. But it goes beyond these people. Every nurse or midwife everywhere is exposed. Even to the basic unit which is the CHPS compound, everyone is exposed. So for the stimulus packages that were announced, we are thankful for the tax waivers which we believe will cover all of us. But the bit of allowances is what we wish should cover every one of us because we are all exposed in doing our bits in helping the nation identify to contain and manage [the virus]. We are also grateful for the availability of buses. As a union, we are also helping to assist in this direction.”