On the intervention of Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has decided to pay the Covid-19 health risk allowance to the frontline health workers.
However, the healthcare workers complained that the ministry wanted to pay the allowance to selected employees despite the fact that all healthcare workers faced the risk of contracting the virus.
Last year, the health risk allowance was paid to a majority of healthcare workers but there were complaints that some of them were paid more compared to others.
During a session of the National Assembly on June 28, the speaker pointed out that the healthcare workers had not been paid the Covid-19 health risk allowance for 11 months.
“I direct the secretary Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) to address the issue till noon by June 29,” he had said.
Hospital heads told to submit lists of employees by July 5
However, the next day no progress was made due to which employees of the National Institute of Health (NIH) held a protest and threatened to suspend the screening of passengers at the airport. Because of the protest, citizens visiting the NIH for Covid-19 tests suffered.
The ministry in a letter to hospitals on July 1 said a meeting was held with the executive directors/heads of departments and they were requested to submit lists of eligible healthcare workers performing Covid-19 related duties for finalisation of the risk allowance.
However, the institutes did not clearly differentiate between employees who directly treated coronavirus patients and those who did not. This resulted in the delay in the payment of risk allowance which eventually caused unrest among the employees, it added.
The ministry on Saturday said the hospitals have been directed to submit the lists of healthcare workers performing Covid-19 duties by July 5.