At the end of the second wave of COVID cases in early 2021 and prior…
Statement by Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland, Executive Chair on behalf of the Board and Management of the QEH
We have become aware through social media of a petition circulating about the need for hazard pay for health care workers and reported threat by an official of NUPW to call a national sick out of health care workers this coming Wednesday.
We wish to remind the public that the Government in November 2020 would have allocated Supplementary Funds for the payment of hazard pay to QEH frontline staff working at isolation centers, the Accident and Emergency Department , and the Emergency Ambulance Service. This supplementary was needed to replenish resources spent on COVID-19 and our projection of costs through to the end of the financial year.
By December, over $14.5 million in additional expenses had been spent in COVID-19 expenditure directly from the QEH budget to finance equipment and operations at Blackman Gollop Isolation Centre, Harrisons Point Isolation Centre, Enmore Isolation Centre and the QEH. In anticipation of the receipt of available finances, the QEH consulted with all of our trade union partners on the payment of hazard pay and staff were asked to await the injection of funds to make the necessary payments.
To address our financial needs, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance would have convened a meeting on Monday January 4, 2021, with the Ministry of Finance, Treasury and Ministry of Health and Wellness.
It has been indicated to the QEH by the Ministry of Finance that the awaited supplementary funds should be available no later than the middle of this month as national developments have slowed the pace of disbursal. In fact, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance hoped that they could have transferred the funds last Friday and we remain confident of its impending receipt to make the necessary payment.
We hope to continue good relations with our staff and trade union partners as together we work cooperatively to face this national threat.