Protesting healthcare workers urged to file official complaint

Minister of Public Service, Hon. Sonia Parag, has called on protesting healthcare workers to file official complaints about their grievances, which is provided for in law.

Medical personnel at several facilities have protested recently over the payment of risk allowances and for more personal protective equipment (PPE) to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister told DPI Friday that an official filing would see the matter progress toward discussions with the relevant sectors, especially since her initial engagements with the Chief Labour Officer revealed that no formal request has been made.

Minister Parag took the opportunity to remind frontline workers that the new government has not left them out of the 2020 Budget, and that some of their pressing concerns will be addressed.

“The government has taken into consideration those who are working, specifically in the COVID pandemic environment … Budgetary Measures has catered for $150 million to be given to frontline workers,” Minister Parag said.

Previously, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony had said that this will include risk allowances for workers.

Moreover, it was noted that the absence of medical personnel at hospitals, due to the protests, has resulted in a weakened healthcare system.

“We don’t have them there in the hospital performing, so it has affected [healthcare institutions] because you have persons who are in dire need of healthcare,” said the Public Service Minister.

As such, Minister Parag is asking workers, “to return to work and give that service to Guyanese and take the necessary steps provided by the laws to reach a stage of discussion.”

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