As the BVI continues to weather the storm of an unprecedented COVID-19 upsurge, Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has called for better compensation for frontline staff in the territory.
“Instead of taking money to pay for political consultants, we need to find ways to support the hardworking front-line workers,” Penn said on JTV’s The Big Story recently.
Penn confirmed that he has received complaints that nurses and other medical staff were asked to work long, extra hours to their own detriment and were not paid overtime for their efforts.
According to Penn, the workers appear to be left out of considerations for proper support and compensation, even as others benefit from the government’s largesse.
He said Opposition members continue to amplify their care and concern for those healthcare workers and public servants.
“We need to find money to protect those who are in the hospital, who are putting themselves and the lives of their family in harm’s way to protect us, to protect this territory,” Penn stated.
Public servants and health officials, Penn argued, have ensured the country continues to move, throughout both administrations, despite adversities the territory has faced.
He highlighted that, throughout several disaster– the 2017 floods, hurricanes Irma and Maria and now COVID
-19 – those workers have done and continue to do a superb job to keep things on even keel.
Penn commended Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronald Georges and his entire team for their tireless efforts on behalf of the territory in the wake of the recent upsurge.
Touching on the thorny issue of recently approved political advisers to the government, Penn said if any funds needed to be re-directed at all in government, it should be in support of the people who are working hard and are mostly impacted by COVID
Meanwhile, Premier Andrew Fahie
recently stated that a lot of funding has been poured into the healthcare sector to keep the territory safe and to supplement its health care needs.
The BVI has seen more than 30 deaths, and at one stage, more than 1,600 positive COVID
-19 infections during the recent upsurge in cases. Active cases have since reduced to less than 600 persons.