Bonus is a reward to healthcare workers for doing something remarkable -Minister Anthony

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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has expressed elation that the efforts of 9, 200 healthcare workers in the country will be rewarded with a two – week tax free bonus before the end of the week.

The minister noted that the pandemic disrupted livelihoods and government came up with policies to help alleviate the plight of people, such as the $25,000 per household Covid-19 cash grant and the recent 7 percent retroactive pay increase for public servants.
However, the work of local health care workers during the ongoing pandemic has been exceptional.

“Everybody would agree with me when I say that our healthcare workers have really worked, very hard during this pandemic, they have gone that extra mile, they have assisted people, they have helped with education, a lot of persons did not understand what was Covid, it’s a relatively new disease, so health care workers were out there talking about this disease, educating people and then when people got sick, was there for them to help them through that process of illness. Some people who got hospitalised required extra care, and at the same time while they were doing all of this, they had to protect themselves as well,” Dr. Anthony explained.

He noted that the different categories of healthcare staff put themselves at risk while working. “Some of them who needed to do the testing for example, and again if you are testing someone, if you are not properly attired, if you are not properly protected, you yourself can get infected because of the proximity that you are to the person maybe with the infection,” the Minister added.

The Health Minister emphasised that due to this fact, the government worked to make sure that the health care workers enjoy some additional benefits, even after benefitting from the 7 percent increase for public servants.
We wanted to show our appreciation, and the appreciation of every single Guyanese that these health care workers have done something remarkable, special and that is why government has decided that we are going to give two weeks tax free bonus to every single public health employee, meaning persons working in the public health system,” he said.

Minister Anthony explained that initially, the government had announced $400 million for health care workers, “If we were looking at just the persons who were working in Covid, maybe that $400 million would have been enough, but it’s very hard to differentiate who worked in Covid and who didn’t work in Covid because the work is so interconnected.”

Therefore, the decision was taken to increase that amount by $212 million which will ensure that everyone in the public health care sector, benefit equally from the $612 million in total.

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