Forum: Reward healthcare workers for their efforts in fighting Covid-19

As the year comes to a close, it is time for us to show our gratitude and recognise the sacrifices of all front-line workers, as they continue to do their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic despite the personal hardships and health risks.

I highlight, in particular, the heroic efforts of our healthcare workers. Now, more than ever, healthcare institutions need to reward their employees on the front lines, as Covid-19 has placed extreme stress on the healthcare system.

Leaders of healthcare institutions need to consider adapting their operating philosophies or policies to support and recognise their employees during this trying time.

They may consider providing their employees with some form of hazard pay, or special incentives for workers with increased exposure to the coronavirus, including special bonuses or some form of "recognition" pay.

Perhaps the Government should consider including funding for hazard pay in future stimulus Bills.

Employers of healthcare workers could also grant additional days of annual leave and allow more days of paid leave for childcare.

With the increased demand for healthcare professionals, many of these workers are finding that they can no longer take their planned annual vacation.

Employers could consider implementing a system that gives these workers the flexibility to carry over their vacation time into the following year.

Also, if there are employees who have put in extra time during this pandemic, employers should consider providing them with additional vacation time down the road to show appreciation for their sacrifice and service.

Leaders have the responsibility to not only promote education and enhance communication with their teams, but also to support them personally.

Organising learning opportunities and creating communication channels, as well as lending an ear to staff, will engage and motivate health professionals in these difficult times.

Sattar Bawany

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