Four Health sector unions, including the Ghana Medical Association, are entreating government to redefine the term “Frontline Health Workers” in the fight against COVID-19.
The unions are Ghana Medical Association (GMA); Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA); Health Services Workers’ Union of TUC Ghana (HSWU); and Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association(GHOSPA)
In a statement, the four associations explained that information available to them indicates that “majority of the health workers contracting COVID-19 are rather those who are not classified as ‘Frontline Health Workers'”.
The associations noted that all persons working in health facilities are at risk of contracting the virus. It stated that over 779 health workers had contracted the virus in the line of duty with a total of 9 deaths as at 30th June, 2020 with 190 members from GMA, 410 from GRNMA, 156 from HSWU and 23 from GHOSPA.
“Considering this trend, it is fair that all health workers are considered for the motivational package”, the joint statement from the unions read.
It would be recalled that on 5th April, 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced that all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of 50% of their basic salary per month, (that is) for March, April, May and June.
“An insurance package, with an assured sum of GH¢350,000 for each health personnel and allied professional at the forefront of the fight, has been put in place, with a daily allowance of GH¢150 being paid to contact tracers”, the president added.
This generated a lot of argument as to who qualified as a ‘frontline health worker’ among various health workers and health associations.