During the 2021/2022 budget contribution of the Minister of Health, the Honourable Renward R. Wells, advised the general public that approval was given for the pay-out of $1,040,600.00 in honourarium and death benefits to a limited number of front line nurses, physicians and medical service workers involved in the COVID-19 response for the period 19th March – 19th June, 2020.
Minister Wells also informed that during the first wave of COVID-19, these front-line health care workers initially stepped forward, “and said, ‘Here am I send me!’ when others were somewhat tepid and hesitant.”
The Minister of Health in his budget presentation also advised that The Bahamas Government approved in the 2021/2021 budget an additional $3M in honourarium to compensate other health care workers “who later joined in the fight.”Originally, no date was indicated as to when the honourarium would be paid. However, the Ministry of Health was aiming to complete the task, and disburse the funds by the end of July, 2021.
The public is advised that after the announcement that $3M was approved by the Government to pay other frontline and non-front line workers who later joined the fight, the Ministry of Health had to carefully scrutinize the proposed list of names recommended for an honourarium. Re-calculations had to be completed based on the proposed names for consideration, and a verification process ensued to ensure all health care workers recommended were compensated according to the set specifications. This caused some delays.
Consequently, the Ministry of Health announces that all front-line and non-front line workers who assisted with the National Response to COVID-19 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas will be paid by cheque on or before the second week of August, 2021.
The Ministry of Health apologizes for any inconveniences caused.