Govt urged to extend RM600 allowance to all healthcare staff


JOHOR BARU: The RM600 special monthly allowance given to frontliners battling the pandemic should be extended to all government healthcare staff regardless of which patients they are attending too, says the Johor Doctor’s Association.

Its founder and president Dr Ng Kim Fong (pic) said doctors and nurses from various departments in government hospitals were being roped in to help with the pandemic, while others handling non-Covid-19 patients had to take on additional workload and responsibilities to fill in for their reassigned colleagues.

“I hope that the government can look at extending this allowance to all government doctors and nurses until this disease is totally brought under control, ” he said, adding that with the number of cases increasing in Johor, more wards were being opened for Covid-19 patients.

“This will further burden our healthcare staff, ” he said.

The RM150mil announced for the health ministry was timely, he said, as it would help in employing more personnel on contract basis.

Dr Ng admitted that the stress level among health staff was high especially with the increasing workload.

“All government medical staff in Johor have also had their leave frozen since last month to tackle the pandemic, ” he said, appealing to the public to play their part and follow the SOP to flatten the curve.

Meanwhile, state Health and Environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said the Johor Health Department, which opened a Covid-19 assessment centre (CAC) at the Bukit Indah health clinic on Jan 10 to assess the condition of positive patients, would set up more similar facilities in the state.

“The Health Department is also in the process of setting up 12 more CACs statewide, ” he said, adding that the centre was set up to fulfil the needs of Covid-19 positive patients who have yet to be hospitalised to get medical consultation and early health checks.

He added that when a person tested positive for Covid-19, they would be referred to the centre for a health evaluation.

“They will then either be referred to the hospital or be quarantined at home.

“Positive patients going through home quarantine are required to monitor their condition and to inform the Health Department if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, ” he added.

He said that as of Tuesday, a total of 1,876 patients had gone to the centre and only 96 required hospitalisation.

Until Wednesday, Johor recorded a total of 14,539 cases with 59 deaths.

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