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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Over government’s failure to meet allowance payments; Doctors to Pull Out of COVID-19 Fight

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The Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association, an independent professional association of Public and Private Medical and Dental Practitioners in Sierra Leone has threatened that all medical doctors in treatment centres will withhold their services if their demands for the payment of weekly allowances among other things are not met within 24hours.

It can be recalled that on Tuesday 21st April, 2020 the SLMDA signed a MOU with the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone. With the MOU, Doctors, Nurses, CHOs, Pharmacists that are working in Treatment Centers, Isolation Centers, and Laboratories are entitled to weekly Allowances of Le1,000,000 each for twelve weeks commencing 1st April 2020, subject to review as may be necessary, whiles cleaners and drivers are getting Le500,000 with similar conditions.

“Healthcare workers shall be provided with a cash risk allowance in lieu of their P.A.Y.E. (Pay As You Earn) tax deductions for three (3) months commencing 1st April 2020, subject to review as may be necessary,” the minister said.

This he says is in line with the SLMDA request for an exemption of P.A.Y.E. tax for three months.

The Government will also provide food compensation of Le60,000 for staff in treatment centers, isolation centers, and laboratory for 84 days. “In addition to a life insurance policy encompassing payment to next-of-kin, Government shall provide free tuition and other forms of educational support for a maximum of three (3) children, up to 1st-degree level, for any healthcare worker who loses his/her life in the discharge of their duties in the combating and treatment of persons infected with COVID-19,” he said. See page 6 for more on the SLMDA public notice.

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