The Ministry of Health has defined frontline health workers as personnel working and managing the 56 coronavirus treatment centres across the country as well as those from the three laboratory institutions leading the testing for the deadly virus.
Also, staff of the National Ambulance Service have been categorised as part of the frontline health workers who will enjoy the 50 per cent pay increment announced by the government for covid-19 frontline health workers.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his 5th address to the nation on the deadly coronavirus outbreak in Ghana announced that all health workers will be exempted from tax payment on their monthly emoluments for the next three months starting from April to June.
He also announced additional package health professionals at the frontline of the virus fight; a 50 per cent increment of basic salary from March to June 2020.
This announcement though lauded by many especially in the health sector, it has triggered discussions on the category of staff to be classified as frontline health workers.
A statement issued by the Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu on Tuesday explained the defined personnel are made up of those involved in triaging, testing and managing patients, doctors, medical laboratory scientist “and others”.
It said the Ministry recognises the role of quasi-government institutions in the treatment of covid-19 cases and will accordingly consider them in the package announced by the government.
“All health workers involved in the above service delivery activities for COVID-19 cases will be regarded as the frontline workers,” the statement said, in a bid to end discussions on who qualifies for the 50 per cent basic pay increment for the covid-19 frontline health workers.
130,345 health professionals on gov’t payroll
According to the Health Ministry, there were 130,345 health professionals on the government’s payroll, stating the three-month tax exemption will be enjoyed by all of them.
Meanwhile, the Ministry said teams have been trained for all the 56 treatment centres in various facilities within the Ghana Health Services and Teaching Hospitals including the University of Ghana Medical Centre and Bank of Ghana Hospital.