ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The health ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has decided to distribute incentive payments to its employees and vowed to review its salary saving system with the Council of Ministers after the Newroz break.
Dr. Rekawt Hama Rasheed, the minister of health, told Rudaw: “After the Newroz holidays, we will distribute an additional incentive payment to physicians and health workers.”
The incentive payment amounts to 100,000 Iraqi dinars (about $84) monthly, and is intended to cover the transport expenses of health workers. Those working outside towns and cities will receive 150,000 dinars.
Rasheed said he had spoken with the KRG prime minister and his deputy to “revise” the saving system for the health ministry.
The minister’s comment come as Sulaimani health workers issued a statement saying they would continue strike action – even at emergency hospitals.
Physicians and health workers in Sulaimani staged a walkout on Monday, protesting the ongoing salary saving system introduced by the KRG in 2016.
Erbil and Baghdad have agreed to pay the salaries according to the KRG’s salary saving system, Saad al-Hadithi, the spokesperson for the Iraqi government, told local media on Monday.
The Kurdistan Region needs 900 billion Iraqi dinars ($759.4 million) to pay its 1.4 million public servants in full and on time, the KRG finance ministry stated on Sunday, adding that the Iraqi government has sent only about a third of that amount.
The ministry said it will continue to use the existing salary saving system, a mechanism that slashes up to 40 percent from the salaries of Kurdish public sector workers, unless they received a bigger share from the Iraqi government or the financial situation improves.