Families of healthcare workers who died of COVID-19 still uncompensated in Northwest Pakistan: report
Islamabad : The families of healthcare workers, who lost their lives from COVID-19 in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have not received the compensation promised by the provincial government, as per a report.
The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had approved a compensation fund for healthcare workers who lost their lives from COVID-19.
With 79,245 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,208 related deaths, the northwestern province of Pakistan has one of the highest coronavirus mortality rates in the country.
According to Provincial Doctors Association (PDA) data, families of 78 health workers, including 48 doctors, who died of COVID-19 while on duty, have not been compensated yet, Arab News reported.
The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa apologised on Sunday for delaying compensation to families.
"We apologise for any delay. All (families of) frontline health workers who died of COVID-19 on the line of duty will be compensated with their pension issues resolved," Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra told Arab News.
PDA president Ameer Taj told Arab News said he had sent two letters to the provincial health secretary and director general of health "months ago" to expedite the disbursement of a compensation fund, but there has been no progress.
"We're left with no option but to go to the court of law to get our legitimate right," he said, adding that the health department was "inefficient and dysfunctional" at a time when the country is struggling with the pandemic.
"The deceased health workers have many issues such as schooling of their children. Delay in the financial package is really a source of concern for us all," he said.
Dr Nasir Inayat, a medical practitioner at Khyber Teaching Hospital's nephrology department, said his uncle Dr Hidayat Ullah Khan died of the virus in July last year but no help for his family had arrived from the government.
"We're hearing of a financial package, but we haven't received any aid. My late uncle has two sons who study in the university and I've to bear their expenses," he said. (ANI)