Saturday, July 9, 2016

When Will Pauline Cafferkey Receive Her £4,000 "Ebola Service" Bonus?

Many, many other brave UK health care workers have long since been paid the £4,000 bonus the British health ministries authorized for those who deployed to Africa -- to remediate the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic.

Pauline Cafferkey is among others who have yet to receive theirs. At one point, an under-minister for public health had indicated that -- because she was once transported (entirely inside the UK) in a manner considered "unsafe" -- apparently while she had a fever, in a relapse of her viral conditions -- his agency might take disciplinary action against her. We are hopeful that this is not the form of discipline that minister had in mind.

To my understanding, others who are not on staff of Public Health England have received their bonuses, but it may be that the under-minister ruled her ineligible on the basis that she isn't PHE staff. But the UK's Mirror news-outlet, and The Guardian, have been asking after it -- since at least July 1. Here's a bit:

. . . .Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who nearly died after contracting the virus while treating patients in Sierra Leone, has not been given a £4,000 bonus many of her colleagues have received, Parliament has heard.

[UK Prime Minister] David Cameron described the Scottish nurse as "one of the bravest people" he had ever met and pledged to look into the issue after it was raised in Prime Minster’s Questions.

The nurse, form South Lanarkshire, has twice had to be treated at a specialist infectious diseases unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London after coming down with the virus. . . .

"We took the decision to help partner with that country, to deal with Ebola, and it is now Ebola free. . . ."

His remarks came after the SNP ’s Ms. Ferrier (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) said NHS volunteers had missed out on the payments given to Public Health England staff.

She said: "The Prime Minister will no doubt be aware of my constituent Pauline Cafferkey, a nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone in 2014 when she was there as part of the DFID organised response to the outbreak. She and around 200 NHS volunteers through UK Med have not received an equivalent bonus of £4,000 that was awarded to 250 Public Health England staff. . . ."

Onward, on a quiet, contemplative Saturday morning. Smiling once again, just the same. And wishing only joy for all the workers who risked their lives for the good people of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Onward.

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