Health workers’ risk allowances up

Government has bowed down to pressure from healthcare workers to revise risk allowances amid coronavirus pandemic.

According to the revised rates, workers on higher grades will now be pocketing K60,000 from K1,800.

The move follows a nationwide sit-in by nurses, doctors and support staff to protest against low rates of risk allowances and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Director in the Ministry of Health and Population Bestone Chisamile announced the new rates in a statement on Monday that the revised rates are effective April 1, 2020.

However, Chisamile said the revised rates are applicable during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ministry will continue to engage with Treasury on general conditions of service for health workers,” reads the statement in part.

Healthcare workers staged the sit-in following a directive by their mother body, National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (NONM).

The sit-in has since grounded operations at Malawi’s largest referral, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

Malawi has, so far, 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Two deaths have been registered so far.

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