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Tue 15 Sep 2009 07:15 AM

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40% slam Bahrain paramedics' swine flu pay demands

Arabian Business poll shows widespread opposition to danger money claims.

A total of 40.6 percent of people who took part in an online survey think it is "disgusting" that Bahrain paramedics have asked for swine flu danger money.

An Arabian Business poll found that the majority of people said the medics should just get on with their jobs and “stop being so mercenary”.

A further 7.4 percent said they could understand the action by medical staff, but added that health chiefs should resist demands.

Local media reported last week that paramedics in the kingdom have demanded danger money to handle suspected swine flu patients because of the risk of contagion.

The demands came after a Filipino paramedic at Salmaniya Medical Complex was initially suspected to have contracted swine flu from a patient. However, tests for the condition produced negative results.

The AB poll found that 22.8 percent of respondents thought giving H1N1 danger money to medical staff would set a dangerous precedent. But, they added, paramedics generally deserve better pay because of the job they do.

Some 29.2 percent agreed with the demand, saying “if they are at risk they should be paid accordingly – give them what they want.”

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