KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 – Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin today urged the government not to ignore non-frontline public health workers during the Covid-19 epidemic.
The former Penang state executive councillor in charge of health said he has received complaints from several Ministry of Health (MOH) staffers over the allocation of the special monthly RM600 Covid-19 allowance that they found to be unfair and not comprehensive enough, after the government allocated the allowance specifically to frontline workers.
“The control of the Covid-19 pandemic requires all MOH personnel to serve full-time, regardless of their role as frontliners.
“In addition, the freezing of leave for MOH staff has also been implemented as a standard of care in all hospitals for service purposes,” Dr Afif said in a statement.
He said that payment of the special Covid-19 allowance only to frontline employees was unfair as the containment of the outbreak involved all MOH staff.
“Therefore, to ensure that no one is left out in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, I urge the Prime Minister to give due attention to ensure that the welfare of MOH workers is not ignored, just because they play a supporting role instead of doing frontline work in helping to contain this outbreak.
“YBM Senator Tengku Zafrul as Finance Minister and YBhg Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki bin Ali as the Chief Secretary to the Government should urgently seek solutions in ensuring that the morale of every Malaysian Ministry of Health officer in handling the outbreak has not deteriorated and been affected by this,” Dr Afif added.
Dr Afif echoed the sentiments of Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, who previously called for the special Covid-19 allowance to cover other health care workers beyond doctors and those directly involved in managing the outbreak.
The Sarawakian MP said Emergency and Trauma Department (ETD) workers, hospital cleaners, pharmacists, essential medical supplies logistics coordinators, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and even counsellors deserve the Covid-19 allowance.
CodeBlue previously reported on which health care workers qualify or don’t qualify for the RM600 monthly Covid-19 allowance, as well as how MOH counts the number of days one must work to receive the money.