Written by Divya Kumari
Edited by Himanshi Shivani
A healthcare worker is the one who delivers care and services to the sick and unwell population either directly as doctors and nurses or indirectly as pharmacists, nursing assistants, medical assistants, phlebotomists helpers, laboratory technicians, or even medical waste handlers. There are approximately 59 million healthcare workers who are currently working for the society.
Do these millions of workers who struggle every day to provide healthcare to the unwell population getting theirs due themselves? In other words, are the healthcare workers getting those perks in the form of compensation with a living wage, support if they fall ill, respect and appreciation which they deserve. But they are getting very low pay and less recognition. According to a report in Brookings, their median pay is $13.48 an hour.
The Healthcare industry is one of the most hazardous environments to work in. Several reports from different states in India have highlighted the risk that health workers have been exposed to as they treat COVID-19 patients. The need of the hour is to prioritize occupational health of health workers and ensure that they are getting their dues effectively. As humanitarians, it is our duty to help the most vulnerable sections but we should not end up paying the price of our lives for it. We should give them respect, recognition, appreciation, and support, and make policies for them. From the legislative standpoint, the president signed a $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) into law on March 28, 2020, and is working on the other policies.