The Former President of Ghana Medical Association, GMA, Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, recently alleged that Former President John Mahama rejected nurses and doctors call for additional allowances when Ebola virus epidemic hit West Africa in 2014.
The former GMA President’s allegation was repeated by Honourable Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, MP for Sekondi Constituency on Good Morning Ghana programme.
But reacting to the allegation via a text message to the host of the programme, the former Communication Minister of the Mahama administration, Dr Omane Boamah revealed all the facts about the Ebola allowance arrangement between the Mahama administration and the health workers. He furnished the host with a Memo which summarises the discussion that took place at the time including lump sum payment to families of health workers should there be eventualities.
Below is the Memo of the discussions which took place at the time:
TO : CHIEF OF STAFF, OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
THRO’ : HON. MINISTER OF HEALTH
FROM : HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH
CC : CHIEF DIRECTOR (M.O.H)
DATE : 2ND DECEMBER, 2014
SUBJECT : SUBMISSION OF THE OUTCOME AND KEY DECISIONS
TAKEN AT THE MEETING WITH PROFESSIONAL BODIES ON
CASE MANAGEMENT OF EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE
As per our earlier discussion on the above mentioned subject, we met on the 18th November, 2014 with representatives of the professional bodies (made up of Ghana Medical Association-GMA, Ghana Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives, Health Service Workers Union etc) who will be involved in the treatment of Ebola Virus Disease patients should there be a case recorded in Ghana. They have agreed to government’s proposal on the incentive package, but asked for inclusion of other areas for consideration by government. Three categories of incentives were discussed as follows:
- Cash transfer- Daily incentive allowance of GHC 300/day for high-risk workers (case management, burial teams and etc), GHC 200/day for medium-risk workers (laboratory and support staff at the treatment centres etc) and GHC 100/day for low risk workers (contact tracing etc)
Insurance payment to next of kin and salary payment for duration until 60 years.
Best treatment including convalescent service, vaccines, etc
Comments from Professional Bodies
Members expressed their satisfaction with government’s latest proposal for the incentive package yet with some reservations as follows:
That Government should revise the existing incentive package to include a lump sum of money to be paid to a deceased family in the unlikely event of death of a health worker. The lump sum should be an immediate compensation
That the monthly salaries as proposed in the incentive package must be revised to be adjustable with time as this is not clearly stated in government proposal
Children of a deceased must receive educational support until the completion of their first degree. However, members were also of the view that a scholarship scheme could be worked out with the scholarship secretariat for those children.
I am proposing that we move ahead to institutionalized government proposal and seek the support of other bodies to consider implementing the additional proposals from the members of the professional bodies.