KUCHING, Aug 27: Sarawak Health Department (JKN Sarawak) has admitted and apologised for the lateness in submitting the list of eligible recipients for June’s special Covid-19 allowance.
State Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing explained that the allowance for June was still delayed as the finalised list of recipients had only been submitted to the state government yesterday (Aug 26) after arduous and exhaustive verification work was completed.
“On June 26, 2020, the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) had requested that JKN Sarawak recheck the list of recipients for June which involved 11,334 medical and healthcare staff as there was a significant increase in the number of recipients.
“As such, based on the verification, the number of eligible recipients was only 7,124 staff and the list was submitted to the state government on Aug 26, 2020,” he said in a statement today.
Among the tasks involved in the verification process, he added, were sorting out and correcting all data including identification card number, name, account number and number of days on duty submitted by each healthcare facility involved.
Dr Chin pointed out that the number of special allowance recipients for the month of April involving 6,328 staff had been paid by the state government on April 27.
“While, for the month of May, JKN Sarawak’s submission with justification for the increase of recipients to 9,664 staff was also approved for payment on June 3,” he said.
Payment for the Covid-19 special allowance for medical and healthcare frontliners under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) initiative, he added, was made based on the name lists submitted by each healthcare facility’s responsibility centre (PTJ).
“The eligibility is based on the criteria listed by the state government, which is frontline Health Ministry staff directly involved and at high risk in carrying out their duty in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is different from the federal government’s Covid-19 allowance claim which required applications through Special Claims Forms,” he clarified.
JKN Sarawak thus apologised for the delay in submitting the name list of eligible recipients for the special Covid-19 allowance to have enabled the state government to disburse the payment.
“All measures taken by JKN Sarawak is to ensure that there was no mistake in the list and according to the limit of quota provided,” he emphasised.
Regarding the transfer claim of Contract Medical Officer who has been instructed to transfer for reappointment, Dr Chin said they were eligible for payment as stated in the Letter of Notification of Relocation of the Contract Appointment Medical Officer 2016 and 2017 Series 1 Year 2020, reference number KKM.500-2/21/59 Vol 10 (4) dated Feb 18, 2020.
“While, for the contract officer in first appointment, only transport fees are eligible to be paid in accordance with MOH Secretary General Circular No. 1 of 2012,” he added.
Meanwhile, the issue of overdue allowance payment was raised by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii in a statement yesterday (Aug 26) after having received many complaints from doctors and healthcare workers in hospitals in Sarawak.
The medical and healthcare frontliners claimed that they have not received the allowance of RM300 for the past four months since May.
The state government announced this special allowance of RM300 under the BKKS packages to appreciate and recognise the contribution of medical and healthcare frontliners in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in Sarawak. The allowance was implemented for six months, starting from April until September 2020.—DayakDaily