GSK’s Sick Pay “Micro-Grants”

Just when I think I have seen every form of healthcare inequity, along comes another one. And sometimes, just sometimes, a potential way to minimize the inequity’s impact comes along with it. Check this out.

What you will see is a report that 64% of working people admit to having clocked into their places of business while sick. Why? Primarily a desire to avoid losing a day’s pay. AND. Workers of color are more likely to engage in such behavior than Caucasian women. Why? In many cases, that day’s pay is more important to their families’ budgets.

Enter GSK, manufacturers of Theraflu. In order to fight both the underlying behavior and the inherent inequity, they will be offering 1,000 parent-patients, especially LatinX and Black mothers, “microgrants” of $150 to permit them to stay home when ill. 

Bottom Line. While I admire the creativity of this program, I scratch my head concerning its practicality. How much effort will need to be expended by the patient, and by the grantor, to apply for each grant, assure that the application is legitimate and issue the check? Will funds be received by the patients in time to meet the requirements of their weekly budgets? And what will the impact be on widespread inequity in sick pay of only 1,000 such grants? 

In brief, there seems to be a big problem here. Likely, a bigger solution than this is needed!

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