Budget debate: Cleaners, security officers on Covid-19 front line to also be eligible for pandemic cash award

The award will apply to cleaners and security officers directly contracted by public healthcare institutions and publicly funded Community Care Organisations. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Cleaners and security officers on the front line of the fight will also be eligible for a Covid-19 cash award, said Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon on Wednesday (March 9).

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in Parliament on Wednesday that the intention for the Covid-19 Healthcare Award has always been to also distribute to outsourced workers who are working full time in the healthcare institutions, but the details took a while to draw up. 

“And so, shortly after this, (the awards) will be announced and (the workers) will get to know when and how much they are getting,” said Mr Ong.

The award allows public healthcare workers to get up to $4,000 in cash reward for their efforts in the fight against Covid-19. The monetary reward also extends to staff at community care organisations that deliver front-line services, such as nursing homes and dialysis centres.

Dr Koh said in Parliament during the debate on his ministry's budget that the award will apply to cleaners and security officers directly contracted by public healthcare institutions and publicly funded Community Care Organisations.

Paramedics under the Singapore Civil Defence Force would be recognised in their own way, he said.

Dr Koh was responding to several MPs who had asked if the Government would be supporting outsourced workers for their work on the Covid-19 front line.

Some examples of outsourced workers include housekeeping staff, security guards and staff doing landscaping, pest control, and kitchen or food services.

Dr Koh had said in response to a parliamentary question in February last year that of these outsourced staff, almost 70 per cent of them are in roles which require them to be on the front line or patient care areas, but less than 5 per cent are involved in handling patient samples.

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