Maldives Health Professional's Union (MHPN) has expressed concern over working conditions and pay as the local healthcare system comes under pressure due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the health professional's union noted that the 19-tier Maldivian healthcare workforce did not have an operationalised job structure nor job security and their monthly basic income stood at MVR 5610.
Further, noting the risky conditions under which healthcare professionals were obliged to work amidst the pandemic, the union rejected cost-cutting changes to the state pay structure which resulted in healthcare workers being denied overtime pay.
“The Union calls on Ministry of Finance and other relevant authorities to reverse the decision which prevents overtime being paid, and annul the new policy,” the statement read.
The statement also condemned what it described as government taking unilateral decisions with regard to healthcare professionals’ working conditions and terms without their say.
In mid-April National Emergency Operations Centre’s spokesperson Mabrook Abdul Azeez revealed government plans to introduce a special allowance for healthcare professionals. The details of the policy are yet to be disclosed.
Meanwhile, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in May assured that special support and aid will be provided for healthcare professionals working in the frontline to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Maldives' capital Malé, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 since recording its first local transmission on April 15, involving a Maldivian woman who sought assistance from a flu clinic in Malé after developing symptoms for the virus.
Presently, Maldives records 1,186 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1091 active cases and four fatalities. A total of 91 have recovered till date.
The newly declared pandemic has infected over five million people and claimed over 325,218 lives around the world. However, 1.97 million people have recovered.