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3 000 health workers get Covid-19 pay

by Staff reporter
23 May 2022 at 06:38hrs | Views
THE Government has paid 3 632 health workers who contracted the deadly Covid-19 their health insurance allowance payout.

According to the Health Services Board, treasury has availed $350 million.

A cumulative total of 9 815 workers tested positive to Covid-19, a majority being nurses and 27 succumbed to the pandemic.

Zimbabwe had recorded 250 642 confirmed cases since March 2020, including 243 033 recoveries and 5 494 deaths. To date, a total of 6 194 638 people have received their first dose of the vaccine.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) last year announced that Government employees who contract the coronavirus in their line of duty will be entitled to financial benefits.

Those who succumb to Covid-19 in their line of duty would be entitled to a full year's salary paid to their family, on top of the usual benefits associated with their work.

In response to questions, HSB chairperson Dr Paulinus Sikosana said:

"As at 21 April cumulatively there were 9 058 health workers who had tested positive to Covid-19 and 27 succumbed to the pandemic. A total 3 632 of those infected had been paid as at 21 April 2022 while 5 426 were approved for payment and awaiting processing of the payments," said Dr Sikosana.

He said HBS received $350 million from the Treasury last month for payment of claims.

"We are certain that the money is enough to pay every healthcare worker who has been affected. This amount covers all the 5 426 outstanding claims that have been approved for payment at the prevailing exchange rate. From 21 April to May 2022, HBS received 757 more claims that will require $492 050 to settle and we continue to process all these payments so that our health workers receive their payouts," said Dr Sikosana.

He said claimants in Grade F are paid an amount equivalent to US$1 000 whereas those below Grade F will receive payments equivalent to US$650.

In an interview, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Mr Enock Dongo said although payments are trickling in, the Government should do more to safeguard the welfare of healthcare workers especially nurses.

"We are still facing challenges with personal protective equipment to date which puts us at risk of contracting these diseases while on duty. We cannot afford transportation to and from work and surely working has become a mental health threat to us, the environment is not conducive," he said.

Mr Dongo said as the insurance payout is being worked on, Government should avail adequate PPE to guarantee protection of health workers.

"Covid-19 is still prevalent. We cannot ignore that and nurses should be assured that their lives are not in danger while serving members of the public," said Mr Dongo.

Source - The Chronicle
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