The Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) is outraged over the uncertainties surrounding frontline health workers who are to benefit from the COVID-19 stimulus packages in the health sector.
GHOSPA says although it acknowledges the great effort by President Nana Akufo-Addo, in showing good leadership to “inspire the nation in this difficult moment”, it is very dissatisfied with government’s seeming interpretation of frontline health worker.
Controversy has been brewing over who qualifies as a frontline staff after President Akufo-Addo announced some incentives for that group of health workers in his last national address on COVID-19.
In a statement, GHOSPA is demanding clarity on the description of health workers who fall under that category warning that the confusion could have dire consequences on Ghana’s quest to combating the pandemic.
“We are not satisfied with the interpretations being given to the term ‘frontline health worker’, who is to benefit from the 50% allowance, by some high ranking state officials, according to media reports monitored. We recommend a quick re-look at that definition to include all health staff in all regions of the nation, and not only those at the designated 56 treatment centres. Otherwise, this incentive package may turn out to become a disincentive to other health workers in the other facilities to reduce their vigilance. And that could spell doom for the entire nation.”
Meanwhile, GHOSPA has given assurances to pharmacists in Hospitals and other state institutions noting that “we want to finally assure our colleague Pharmacists, working in both the private and public hospitals across the country and those in all state and quasi-government institutions, who constitute GHOSPA, to continue to keep their calm, as the leadership seeks solutions through dialogue with key stakeholders at the highest levels in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), in order to bring finality to our pressing challenges. All must continue to put in our best in the fight against this pandemic.”
We’ll define who qualifies as frontline health worker soon – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo says the government will in the coming days give a clear definition of who qualifies as frontline staff in the fight against the coronavirus.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association, President Akufo-Addo said finality will be brought to the matter to prevent any doubts.
“Effort is being made on the part of the government, to arrive at an acceptable definition, and I think your input will be very necessary and required, so that we get a definition that makes sense for everybody and which addresses the issue of people who are also in the frontline, as it were, of dealing with this disease,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Government’s commitment to health workers
The President said the government is committed to ensuring that health workers are supported as they deliver essential services to the populace especially amidst the outbreak of Coronavirus.
“On my part and on the part of government, we will continue to see what we can do to meet you halfway, ease the issues that you have. I think you heard my broadcast the other day, I indicated the measures that we want to put in place to support you in the work that you are doing,” Akufo-Addo noted.
He added that several interventions have already been rolled out to ease the burden on health workers.
“Buses for nurses and health workers have started plying the streets of Accra, the allowances that are going to be paid to health workers are being worked out by the Finance Minister, and, very soon, in the course of this month the first payments are going to be made,” he said.
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