Govt forced to hike health workers’ allowances after protests

President Peter Mutharika’s administration has revised health workers’ risk allowances, following a strike by health workers across the country.

In a memo to hospital administrators and district commissioners dated 20 April, Chief Director in the Ministry of Health Beston Chisamile says the Treasury approved the revised allowances yesterday.

“I am pleased to inform you that Treasury has revised risk allowances for health workers which will be effective from 1st April, 2020,” Chisamile says in the memo.

According to the revised rates, workers on grades HD to HI, will have their allowances hiked from K1,800 to K60,000.

Health workers on Grade HK and HJ (currently K1500) as well as those on HD (currently K1000) will be receiving K50,000. For those on C, their allowance has been hiked from K1,000 to K20,000 while workers on HL will be receiving K30,000 from K1,oo0. Health workers on Grade HM and below will be getting K25,000.

The new rates, according to Chisamile, are applicable during the coronavirus pandemic.

A few weeks ago government promised to revise the allowances but the issue was delayed, forcing health workers in hospitals across the country to down their tools. The protests started in at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre last week and spread to other hospitals.

The health workers are also demanding personal protective equipment and want patients to be screened for coronavirus symptoms at the gate.

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