Medical Doctors Union Demands PPE, Risk Allowances

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The Medical Doctors Union of Malawi (MDUM) has written the Chairman of the Special Cabinet Committee on COVID-19,Jappie Mhango, Minister of Health, demanding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and raise of risk allowance for Medical Doctors.

The demand is following President Peter Mutharika who in his national address to the nation on 2nd April, 2020 made a confirmation that Malawi has the presence of COVID-19, demanded the immediate recruitment of health workers and increase in the risk allowance for health workers as some of the measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Medical Doctors are demanding risk allowance be calculated as 70% of the basic salary, and in addition, the professional allowance for Medical Doctors be 70% of their basic salary and these should be non- taxable.

The request is contained in a letter signed by its president Dr. Collins Mitambo with a copy to President Peter Mutharika.

In the letter, MDUM observes that in the past years, it received huge brain drain for Medical Doctors that every year a number of highly qualified Specialists and General Practitioners find greener pastures in other countries such as Namibia and Lesotho.

MDUM says the cornerstone of prevention of Coronavirus is to protect oneself and help to prevent the spread of the virus to others.

The organization says Medical Doctors have a major role in diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients saying they are at a high risk of contracting the virus considering that they are on the front line in managing COVID-19 patients.

“Currently, the public hospitals are out of capacity to purchase the necessary Personal Protective Equipments from their drug budget,” reads part of the statement.

The Medical Doctors have since advised government to provide feedback by 10th April, 2020 and without the stated demands as a minimum standards for Doctors, the Union will inform its members to withdraw the labour force and that any delays in the implementation of the demands will undermine President Mutharika’s commitment to COVID-19 National Response.