31 August 2020 - NW1565
Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Health
In view of the fact that 4 800 healthcare workers were infected by Covid-19 at the end of June 2020, what (a) is the flagging system that has been put in place by his department to administer the testing of workers and speedy results, (b) is the total number of infected community healthcare workers to date, (c) are the reasons that danger pay has not been implemented noting the dangers that healthcare workers are faced with during the pandemic, especially those in (i) casualty, (ii) emergency and (iii) ICU wards?
a) The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) has prioritised the testing of healthcare workers and provision of results as part of the targeted testing guidelines.
b) Nationally 30,741 healthcare workers have been reported to be infected with COVID-19 as at 20 August 2020. A process to electronically account for individual healthcare worker on COVID-19 infections and outcomes is being initiated. This will enable more substantive monitoring of community healthcare worker infections, which we currently are unable to do because data is not reported on the level of granularity.
c) The Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council Resolution 1 of 2007 (PSCBC Resolution 1of 2007), regulates danger allowance dispensation in the public service. According to this resolution, health care workers who work in casualty, emergency and ICU are not covered by danger allowance. However, the inclusion of these categories to the existing danger allowance dispensation is currently on the agenda of the PSCBC. Organised labour and the State as the employer are discussing it with a view to signing a resolution if they reach an agreement.