Frontline health workers who are and will be risking their own health to take care of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic are entitled to a risk allowance of Vt18,000 on top of their usual pay.
Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Russell Tamata, revealed this following the recent approval of contracts for certain health workers by the Public Service Commission (PSC), as specified by the MoH.
According to the DG, the Council of Ministers (COM) has approved an amount of over Vt200million to facilitate the Clinical Response Plan, which covers the risk allowances for health workers at VCH and Northern Provincial Hospital.
Health workers who have been committed to take care of the first COVID-19 patient at VCH since last week will be receiving the risk allowance, he said
As the threat of COVID-19 is not over, more health workers will be needed in a worst-case scenario. A Clinical Response Plan is already in place said DG Tamata.
DG Tamata said the approval of contracts by PSC came after a one-week consultation between the MoH, Vanuatu Nursing Council, Vanuatu Nursing Association and nursing managers.
This came after a request from the frontline health workers for the government to meet their risk allowances.
DG Tamata thanked PSC for recognizing the service of the public servants in the health sector in this crisis.
He also acknowledged the nurses for being at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic and their understanding to collaborate in meeting their request.
Frontline health workers work long hours to take care of patients while keeping up to their other everyday demands and managing their families.