KUCHING, Aug 27 ― The Sarawak Health Department (JKNS) had only managed to submit the revised name list of recipients of the state government’s special Covid-19 allowance for June on August 26 (yesterday).
Its director Dr Chin Zin Hing said the name list was updated to include only those Health Ministry (MOH) frontliners whom were directly involved and at higher risk of exposure to Covid-19 when performing their duties.
In a statement issued through the department, Dr Chin said the delay was because JKNS had to settle several issues with the state government regarding the revision and correction of data received from every health facility such as identification card numbers, account numbers and total working days of names submitted in the list.
“On June 26, 2020, the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) Sarawak had asked JKN Sarawak to revise the list of recipients for the month of June, which totaled 11,344 people due to a significant increase in names.
“Therefore, after the revision was made, the number of eligible recipients was reduced to 7,124 people and this was submitted to the Sarawak government on August 26.
“The Covid-19 allowance under the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance Package is paid based on names submitted by the health facilities based on the Sarawak government’s criteria that only MOH frontliners directly involved and at higher risk when performing Covid-19 operations. It is different from the procedures for Covid-19 Allowance from the federal government which has to be applied using the Special Claims Form,” he said.
Yesterday, Local Government and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian had said that the Sarawak government’s special Covid-19 allowance for medical frontliners in the state had not been paid as they had not gotten the updated name list from JKNS.
Dr Sim was responding to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, who earlier in a statement highlighted a report from an online news portal quoting a medical officer from Sibu General Hospital alleging that medical officers in all hospitals in Sarawak have yet to receive their RM300 monthly state Covid-19 allowance for the last four months.
Dr Sim also denied rumours claiming that the reason for the delayed payout of the Covid-19 special allowance was because the state government was out of money.
According to Dr Chin, the Covid-19 special allowance of RM300 per recipient under the BKSS package was announced by the Sarawak government on March 23 this year to appreciate and recognise the contributions of the health workers in managing the pandemic in Sarawak.
“The payout is for six months from April to September 2020. The number of recipients in April were 6,328 people and they have received their allowances on April 27, 2020.
“For the month of May, the JKN Sarawak’s application to increase the number of recipients to
9,664 people was justified and approved for payment by the state government on June 3, 2020,” he said.
Dr Chin, on behalf of JKNS, apologised for the delay in submitting the name list and he explained it had to be done to ensure there were no errors and was in accordance with the quota limit which had been fixed. ― Borneo Post