KUALA LUMPUR, August 27 — The Sarawak state government asserted that the Ministry of Health (MOH) only sent it yesterday a list of eligible medical frontliners for the Covid-19 special allowance for the month of June.
Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Dr Sim Kui Hian said the state government could not proceed with paying frontliners the RM300 monthly state Covid-19 allowance since June because the state health department, which is under the federal MOH, did not update the list of beneficiaries.
“Feedback from the Attorney-General, the payment status from the treasury — MOH frontliners was paid in April and May. No payment (made) in June, July, and August. The reason is MOH only sent the list for June payment yesterday,” Dr Sim told CodeBlue today.
The SUPP president also denied a medical officer’s allegations that the state government did not have enough money to pay frontliners of Sarawak’s coronavirus response.
“It is not true that the state government doesn’t have money, but we are waiting for the list, to ensure all the eligible recipients would not be missed out,” the trained medical practitioner said.
Dr Sim was referring to an anonymous complaint letter by a medical officer from Sibu Hospital to CodeBlue, who claimed that doctors in all hospitals in Sarawak have not received their RM300 monthly state Covid-19 claims since May, totalling RM1,200 over four months. The medical officer, however, said the federal government’s RM600 monthly Covid-19 allowance for MOH frontliners has been paid regularly.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii released a statement yesterday urging the Sarawak state government to resolve the purported four months’ delay in payment for medical frontliners, pointing out that they have served the public committedly during the pandemic, even putting their lives at risk by exposing themselves to the virus.
The DAP lawmaker said that RM1,200 is not a small amount, especially for those under contract, as health care workers have other family and financial commitments.