NURSING Association president Idi Stuart is happy with the ex-gratia payment for health care workers, but sad that not a single active nurse was considered as a recipients for a national award on Republic Day.
In keeping with the Prime Minister’s expressed desire to reward health care workers for their dedication during the pandemic. Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced in his budget a one-time $210 million ex-gratia payment to be shared by 20,000 health care workers.
“It is a fitting tribute to their exemplary and heroic performance that I have acted on the instructions of the Prime Minister to allocate the sum of $210 million in the estimates of expenditure for fiscal 2023 as a special payment to be distributed to health workers,” Imbert said.
Leading members of the health team which led the fight against the pandemic over the past two years received national awards.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, was rewarded with the country’s highest honour, the Order of TT (ORTT).
Acknowledging the sacrifices of health care workers who worked with covid19 patients, Stuart said he was satisfied Government had honoured the offer first made by Rowley.
While still awaiting the specifics of how the sum is to be distributed and when, Stuart said it was a fitting tribute to the exemplary and heroic performance of health sector workers, especially as nurses harboured a perception they were not valued.
“Nursing personnel should have been given a national award. No one saw it fit for a single active nurse to receive a national award on Republic Day.”
He reminded policy-makers that nurses, as well as other health care workers, were on duty 24/7, working among the infected and were not fortunate enough to work from home
Acknowledging the work of other sectors, Stuart said while it was sad not a single nurse was recognised, the ex-gratia payment would in some way assuage that burden.