Promotion order ‘pat on the back’ for Covid warriors

MANAMA: A royal directive on special promotions to frontline workers has been described as a welcoming ‘pat on the back’ and a much-needed morale booster for healthcare workers.

Bahrain Medical Society (BMS) president Dr Ghada Al Qassim said the noble gesture literally lifted up the spirits of an otherwise tired and traumatised healthcare workers’ community.

The GDN reported last week that His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince Prime Minister, directed the granting of two additional promotional steps in the civil service or their equivalent to the first responders.

The special promotions were announced in recognition of their contribution to the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are all excited and thankful,” said Dr Al Qassim told the GDN. “The entire healthcare sector has been discussing this since the day it was announced.

“The BMS and I personally have been receiving a lot of calls and messages seeking further details which we are waiting for.

“It is such a welcome relief – like a fresh breeze on a hot summer day. It came as a pat on the back for all of us and at the right time. Healthcare workers have of late been feeling fatigued, their spirits a bit low – it’s been a tough time.

“It is not easy to see so many people around us sick, with many of us knowing those needing care. It is never easy to see and handle so many deaths every day. The loss to their families is a loss to us all and the pandemic has been showing no mercy – and it is natural for us to feel low and tired.

“At such a time, it is a great feeling to know that our efforts are being watched, acknowledged and honoured by the royal leadership.

“This gesture has lifted up our spirits – emotionally and physically – beyond the promotion, it is about care and understanding. It is great to know that.”

She added that BMS remains committed to the work under the directives of HRH Prince Salman who she underlined ‘personally supervises Bahrain’s battle against the pandemic and provides all the necessary requirements’ to battle the pandemic.

“This has made the Bahraini model an example to be followed and it has attracted the attention of the world,” she said.

“We are proud of Bahrain’s healthcare workers. The whole medical sector has proven it is capable of providing the best care to all patients, locals and expatriates, Covid-19 related, or not.”

Meanwhile, Dr Al Qassim appealed for the promotion to be extended to all frontline healthcare workers.

While the royal directive says the promotion is for front-liners it remains unclear if it is limited to Bahrainis. If the two-level promotion is based on the grades and steps under the Civil Service Law, expats who work on contractual basis do not come under it.

“We are calling for the noble royal gesture to be extended to all, irrespective of nationality,” said Dr Al Qassim. “Since we all have been working together from the onset of the pandemic last year, and none of us spared any efforts, the BMS believes that all of us are equally eligible for this much deserved appreciation.

“We could not have done it alone; we did it as a team. Bahrain’s healthcare sector is a rich mixture of citizens and non-citizens and we cannot ignore their contributions.”



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