Tuesday, October 14, 2014

If Liberian nurses want hazard pay in ebola fight, the West should just pay their salaries directly

    Liberian nurses on the front lines in the fight against the ebola virus threatened to strike over low pay, or often no pay, since the government is months behind in payment of their salaries.
    For now they've remained working.
    There aren't very many health care workers in West Africa to begin with, and an alarming number have died in the fight against ebola. Their demand of $500 per month in hazard pay is not unreasonable; it would take their monthly pay to $700. As national expenditures go, this amounts to almost nothing.
    In fact, I'd love to know what has been spent on the few ebola cases that have been treated in the United States. My guess is that when we tally it up, enough health care dollars will have been spent on Liberian Thomas Duncan and his nurse Nina Pham to pay every Liberian health care worker their desired salary for a month.
    So let's just do it. The United States and other Western nations should simply take it upon themselves to pay the salaries of all of the health care workers in West Africa for the duration of this outbreak. The health care workers would need to be paid directly, to keep their governments from stealing the money.
    This isn't foreign aid or charity; it is money well spent for our nation's self-preservation.

No comments: