State governments offer incentives to frontline staff, medicos on COVID duty

Bihar will pay Rs 400 to Rs 600 per day incentive to frontline workers

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Amidst the second wave of the pandemic, governments across the states are acknowledging the contribution of the healthcare staff and offering them incentives. The Government of Bihar has decided to pay an incentive of about Rs 400 to Rs 600 per day to frontline workers, including the cops, magistrates and supervisors on duty at the care facilities and hospitals across the state that are taking care of COVID patients.

These incentives will only be paid to the permanent government employees. They will not go beyond the limit of their one month’s basic salary, and will be paid up to July 31, 2021.

The government doctors, nurses and paramedics were already given a month’s basic salary as an incentive bonus in 2020.

In Karnataka, the state government has announced that it will offer grace marks and financial incentives, such as a risk allowance, to final-year MBBS students and those pursuing nursing courses in COVID hospitals. They will be considered as frontline warriors and be vaccinated on priority too. Financial incentives will be given to contractual doctors as well. The incentives will benefit more than a lakh final-year MBBS, post-graduate doctors, interns and nursing students. A payment of 33 per cent incentive on the stipend that medical students get during internship is being considered.

The Himachal Pradesh government had also decided to employ the services of final year MBBS and nursing students along with contractual doctors in COVID hospitals against payment of monthly incentives.

However, the incentive amount of Rs 3,000 a month for MBBS students, contractual / resident doctors and Rs 1,500 for nursing students and other healthcare employees was thought to be too low. The matter is still being decided upon.

Meanwhile, an honorarium of Rs 1,500 has been announced by the chief minister for all the Class 3 and 4 employees including staff nurses, ward boys and ASHA workers who are directly serving COVID patients.

Earlier, the Jharkhand government had announced Rs 103 crore incentive for frontline health staff on COVID duty, that is equal a month’s salary. This incentive will benefit all staff of the health department, including doctors and those involved in contact tracing, testing and supervision in COVID hospitals, wards and control rooms

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