Two families of deceased COVID-19 health care workers were granted payments today, following recent ‘sickouts’ across healthcare institutions over the disbursements of honorarium payouts.
The families of Nurse Sherrilyn Charlton-Bain and Custodian Marion Burrows-McKinney were presented with cheques, totaling $100,000.
Carlton-Bain and Burrows-McKinney died during the first wave of the pandemic. Charlton-Bain, deployed to the Prison Health Services, passed on October 10 and Burrows-McKinney, deployed at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) died on September 29.
The big story
At the height of the pandemic, the government agreed to provide a $5,000 honorarium to those frontline workers who provided care to COVID-19 patients from the onset of COVID, and a $100,000 life insurance policy if workers experience untimely death while serving.
It was an effort to provide a cadre of healthcare workers during the period March 19–June 18, 2020.
Why it matters
For the past week, healthcare workers in New Providence and Grand Bahama abandoned services and ‘called in sick’ over COVID-19 honorarium payouts. Some health workers said they were frustrated that they were left out of the disbursements of monies, but Minister of Health Renward Wells maintained that the payout was not intended for everyone as some workers did not meet the criteria as established by the Cabinet for payment of the honorarium.
What Wells said today
Wells stated that these challenging times have highlighted the important roles healthcare and frontline workers play.
Wells added, “The government instituted a death benefit to healthcare workers for a limited time to those who may have potentially lost their lives from COVID-19.”
He explained that both healthcare workers qualified for that death benefit, and now the government can pass on what was held in trust for both of them to their families.
“To the family members of Nurse Sherrilyn Charlton-Bain and Mrs. Marion Burrows-McKinney, we know that no monetary value can replace the life of your mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt or friend. However, it is hoped that it will provide for a time the necessary funding that would have ordinarily been supplemented by your loved ones’ income.”