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General News of Friday, 3 July 2020

Source: GNA

Government sets aside GH¢ 8 million for coronavirus frontline health workers

Mr Charles Adu Boahen, Deputy Minister of Finance has told Parliament that government has set aside GH?8 million to be paid as the COVID-19 Special Allowance designated for frontline health workers.

He said the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance are together compiling data and doing the necessary reconciliation to determine particularly health sector workers designated as the frontline workers and eligible for the package.

He said the reconciliation exercise was ongoing and as soon as it was completed the payment would start.

Mr Adu Boahen made the statement when he appeared before the Parliament to answer to an urgent question by Mr Emmanuel Kpodo, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho Central on when government would pay the designated frontline health workers the COVID-19 Special Allowance of 50 percent of their basic salary.

In March, 2020 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced incentive packages for the health sector workers as part of COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, readiness and response action.

Mr Adu Boahen also explained that there were many health workers spread all over the country performing various roles and the challenge was to determine those who actually qualified as frontline workers and at risk, for the government to pay them.

In a supplementary question by Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza, MP for Adaklu on when payment for the package would start, Mr Adu Boahen responded that he did not want to give any timelines, but gave an assurance that the ministry would complete the validation exercise after which the payment would start.

“Mr Speaker, as I said, we have set aside the money already, but the challenge is to ascertain the eligibility and definition of who a frontline worker is,” he added.