HEALTH care workers in Sarawak hospitals have allegedly not received the RM300 special incentive from the state government for the past four months.
The claim was made by a medical officer in Sibu Hospital, who said that while the RM600 allowance from the federal government was paid on time, they were yet to receive the RM300 from the state government since May.
“The state actually promised us RM300 per month, with an additional RM600 Covid-19 allowance from the federal government. The federal government’s allowance has been paid. However, we have not received four months’ of allowances from the state,” the medical officer said in a letter written to the health news website Code Blue.
“For March and April, we received our RM300 without any issues. But since May, the money has not been banked in. I have personally checked with a few colleagues from various hospitals in Sarawak, and we have all not received it,” the medical officer said in the letter.
The medical officer, who wished to remain anonymous, decided to write the letter as the team involved in Covid-19 are the emergency department staff, medical staff and anesthesiology staff.
The unpaid claims has totaled up to RM1,200 per person and is becoming an issue among contract medical officers.
He said when they queried about the allowance, all they received in reply was that there was no money yet.
“There is no reason why the Covid-19 claims, which are supposed to come in monthly, should have any delay. That’s my point actually,” he said.
“Let’s be frank, the government is already underpaying doctors on the on-call claims with RM8-15/ hour, depending if we were asked to do passive or active calls. This little bit extra of allowance does definitely help us feel the gratitude of the government.
“If the state can’t pay, the state should have never promised us such. I understand the government can’t pay everything one-off,” he stressed.
“The Covid-19 claims are backlogged, and for some of us, even their on-call claims. And this should be settled immediately by the Sarawak government.”
Under the “Sarawakku Sayang” stimulus package announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, the state government will pay RM300 monthly for six months to medical frontliners battling to control the spread of Covid-19.