Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health has stated that government is yet to pay the extra allowances of frontline health workers engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Health Minister made the disclosure on Thursday in Accra during question and answer time at the meet the press series, organised by the Ministry of Information to give an update on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Responding to a question that staff of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) of the University of Ghana, who were involved in conducting the COVID-19 testing, had not being paid their extra-allowances for frontline health workers, Mr Agyeman-Manu said it was an unfortunate situation and that it looked like some wrong information had got into the Institute.
He said, he was sending his Chief Director to Institute to join with Professor Abraham Kwabena Annan, the Director of NMIMR to explain (things to the staff).
“So far this extra allowance the President announced to be paid to frontline health workers has not been paid to anybody yet,” Mr Agyeman-Manu stated.
He noted that all the heads of the health service providers-the Christian Health Association, Ghana Health Service, the quasi-government health institutions, the teaching hospitals and all their chief executive officers had signed an agreement and sent to the Minister (of Health) that they should hesitate a little bit for them to continue to dialogue with their own staff; the nurses and the doctors until they agreed on arrangements with their workers.
“Noguchi cannot be left behind, we are adding their clinical academy consultants, the university lecturers, who practice medicine in the teaching hospitals; they are all part of it, including; some veterinary people who have even been testing. But we haven’t paid anybody. And then last night it came out that Noguchi people are complaining that we have paid the allowances to people and we have left them behind.”
“This cannot be true. We haven’t done anything. And I want to assure Noguchi staff that we will never leave them behind. This is a battle that we are fighting together where they are, is even more obvious…….. Their contributions levels are high so we can’t leave them behind. And anytime we do this analysis they will get their fair share of these allowances,” he added.
Responding to a question on personal protective equipment (PPE) being distributed to health facilities, Mr Agyeman-Manu said there were plans in place to ensure their sustainability.