Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Let's call the Doctors and Nurses Associations to order in the COVID-19 crisis response.


Let's call the Doctors and Nurses Associations to order in the COVID-19 crisis response.

Report by Citi FM states:

1. “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.

2. 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.”

3. President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives 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.


This request is unreasonable and inconsiderate and this is why:


How do you call this a form of discrimination when the COVID19 risk bonus is given to only the direct frontline staff? They are being unreasonable knowing that 90% of the people in the health service will not encounter a case. It’s not like they are not paid for their regular work.
The risk of infection comes with the job. But COVID19 is a new one hence the bonus for those who encounter it. It's like an army deployment. You cannot campaign to have your share of the victory bonus just because you have been on the standby??? This is not football teams where those who never kicked a ball also get the winning bonus. They get away with it because it's a small number. Let's be fair to our nation.
You are duly paid monthly for you regular work and if you don’t encounter the new COVID19 then why do you feel entitled? Besides the 3 months tax waiver goes to all health workers, so why the be greedy in asking for the 50% of basic pay as allowance too? it’s also about affordability. Ours is a heavily indebted country with a weak economy which is made worse by the pandemic. People should think about that.
The issue is with facilities that will never see a case throughout the period. Otherwise everyone on in those facilities during the period of the cases are being treated is on the front line. This should not be a big discussion but for the allure of free money. The GMA and GRNA should not have responded at this time of the crisis. Defer the discussion to the time when all is done and we know the true extent of the crisis. Think about the worse case scenario where even when all the money in the world is paid but cannot be used.
Let’s also remember the same COVID19 event has reduced our nation's income and increased our liabilities. The least we can all do is to make it worse.

Additional Points on the issue:

1. They are taking this like harvest season. Sad. We all need other professionals at one point and you don’t want this behavior meted out to you. Your house is on fire and the fire personnel are out there debating what additional cash they desire for their bravery. This sucks big time.

2. Nobody gets their due in this country. It’s the stage of our development. Remember that. Seeking to use a crisis to negotiate is inhuman. And there will be a price to pay. Watch it.

3. As for the politicians if you follow them you throw the life of your family away. And don't tell me I don't know what it takes to work in the health sector. Don't!  One wrong does not make the second wrong right. Conscience!!

4. Check my last line about the worse case scenario. Anytime health workers are on strike I support big time. But this is not an ordinary time. We should all care about the situation not burning over us all.

5. CoS will be fought and won. Let’s wait for the peak of the crisis to pass. We will all join you in that fight. My sister is a nurse and my cousin too. So we all want the same thing.

6. They need a quiet back channel strategy to negotiate. The current open banter will only hurt the weak. They will now feel that their safety cannot be guaranteed by people who are haggling over money.

7. Let's continue to remember that a contagion like this can easily fill your hands with more dead bodies than money. Remember that and be watchful.

8. hmmm. It’s not their fault. Pastors and politicians have been projecting material possessions over service so the boundaries of what is normal is receding. Soon people will make a list of whose funeral they want to organize and charge heavily. The boundary needs to be drawn.










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