By Emma Victoria
THE delay in disbursing the RM300 Covid-19 special incentive for each qualified medical frontliner in Sarawak is due to the outdated recipient list from the state health department.
Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said since the department has not updated the list, the state government could not proceed with the payments since May.
“It is not true that the state government don’t have money (allocation) but we are waiting for the list, to ensure all the eligible recipients would not be missed out,” he said, Borneo Post reported.
“It (complaint) is not just on the delay, but how many qualified frontliners could not apply for this allowance. So, the Health Department is working on it,” he added.
Yesterday, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urged the state government to resolve the unpaid special incentive promised for those involved in fighting against Covid-19 in Sarawak.
He said medical doctors and healthcare workers claimed that they have not received the RM300 from the state government for the past four months.
“This is not the first time for such a delay and it has affected medical frontliners from different departments and hospitals all over Sarawak including the emergency department (ETD), medical staff and even anesthesiologist,” he said in a statement.
“At this point these medical workers have not received a total of RM 1200 per individual as promised by state government, which is no small amount especially for those under contract, and have other family or financial commitments,” he said.
Apart from the state government, there are medical frontliners who have not received their special allowance on top of their relocation allowances.
“Is this the way she show our appreciation toward our medical frontliners that has served us committedly during the pandemic and even putting their lives at risk to exposure of the virus and also exposure to their loved ones?” Dr Yii questioned.
“I urge the state government to pay them what is due, including the Covid-19 claims that are backlog and for some even their on-call claims.
“Our medical front liners not only deserve our praise and appreciation especially during this Covid-19 time, but they cannot live or eat on praises alone. And that is why we owe it a duty to make sure their welfare is taken care of properly,” he stressed.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had announced that the state government will pay RM300 monthly for six months to medical frontliners battling to control the spread of Covid-19 under the “Sarawakku Sayang” stimulus package.