President Nana Akufo-Addo has waived-off taxes for health workers in the country for the next three months commencing April 2020 to June 2020.
The President announced this while addressing the nation on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at the Jubilee House on updates on the fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country.
“Government has decided that all health workers will not pay taxes on their emoluments for the next three months, i.e. April, May, and June,” the President said.
The government in a bid to protect the lives of the frontline health workers as they treat patients, who have tested positive for the virus, the president said some essential materials needed by the health workers have been provided.
“That is why the Government is placing a high priority on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for them. Thus far, three hundred and fifty thousand (350,000) masks, five hundred and fifty-eight thousand, six hundred and fifty (558,650) examination gloves, one thousand (1,000) reusable goggles, twenty thousand (20,000) cover-alls, seven thousand (7,000) N-95 respirators, five hundred (500) waterproof gumboots, two thousand (2,000) reusable face shields, two thousand (2,000) gallons of hand sanitizers, ten thousand (10,000) 100ml pieces of hand sanitizers, and five hundred (500) shoe covers have been sent to the regional health directorates, for onward distribution to the district health directorates for use by our health workers in all the districts.”
The president also announced that an insurance package of GH 3500 Cedi has been set aside for each health worker at the forefront of the fight against the virus.
“An insurance package with an insurance sum of GH 3500 Cedi for each health personnel and Allied professional at the forefront of the fight has been put in place with a daily allowance of 150 cedis being paid to contact tracers.
He also disclosed that “all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of fifty percent (50%) of their basic salary per month, i.e. March, April, May, and June. The March allowance will be paid alongside that of April”.
Meanwhile, last week, doctors at the Department of Accident and Emergency at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital expressed their displeasure dissatisfaction with the level of preparedness of the department in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Memo signed by the Doctors to their Head of Department, they complained about the usage of a sideward as an isolation centre without the necessary PPEs.
“We write to express our general dissatisfaction with the preparedness or lack thereof of the department to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic. We also wish to express our displeasure with the events surrounding the hospital’s first confirmed case. Firstly, the pandemic; an existential threat to us, you will agree has to be handled with decisiveness and transparency. It is based on this that, we are aghast at the actions or inactions taken before, during and after the case had been confirmed.”
They threatened to withdraw their services if a proper isolation centre is not provided and quick testing of all staff of the department for Coronavirus is not done.
What other measure is the government taking to ensure enough equipments for health workers?
At the nation address yesterday, the president disclosed other steps that the government will employ to ensure enough distribution of essentials needed by health workers to aid in fighting the virus.
“It is for this reason that Government is actively engaged with local manufacturing companies to assist them in the domestic production of PPEs and I am encouraged by the response from the Ghanaian private sector. Domestic production of face masks, head covers, surgical scrubs, and gowns will commence from Tuesday. For example, three million, six hundred thousand face masks will be produced domestically, with an output of one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) per day.”