Special Covid-19 allowance for medical frontliners four months overdue

Dr Yii speaking to reporters.

KUCHING, Aug 26: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii is urging the state government to swiftly resolve the issue of unpaid special Covid-19 allowance of RM300 per month to the medical and healthcare frontliners during this critical period as promised.

He claimed that medical doctors and healthcare workers in hospitals in Sarawak have complained that they have not received the special allowance for the past four months since May.

“This special allowance comes under the BKSS (Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang) announced by the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) that medical and healthcare staff involved in Covid-19 will receive RM300 per month for six months starting from March this year.

“But since May, they have not got their allowance. At this point, they have not received a total of RM1,200 each as promised which is not a small amount especially for those under contract and have family or financial commitments,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii also pointed out that this was not the first time for such a delay while the frontliners had complained that the excuse given when they followed up with their hospitals’ administrations was that the allocations have yet to be given by the state government.

He also raised in Parliament yesterday (Aug 25) that there were healthcare frontliners who had yet to get the federal Covid-19 special allowance on top of the relocation allowance for those who were relocated to specialised Covid-19 hospitals during the pandemic.

“With delays from both federal and state governments, is this the way to show appreciation towards our medical and healthcare frontliners who have served us with dedication during the critical times and even put their lives at risk?” he asked.

Thankful to the state government for extending the special allowance to other healthcare workers involved in managing the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak, Dr Yii however pressed that it was more important to ensure the allocations went directly to the intended target without delay.

“Our medical and healthcare frontliners deserve our praise and appreciation for the work they have done, but they cannot live or eat on the praises alone. And that is why we owe them a duty of care to make sure their welfare is taken care of properly,” he added.—DayakDaily