Health | Extent to which COVID-19 related payments to front-line staff have been paid
To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which all extra and promised Covid-19 related payments to frontline staff have been paid to those to whom it was promised; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Firstly I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all healthcare workers for their efforts during this most challenging period.
On January 19th, the Government announced a COVID-19 pandemic recognition payment for frontline public sector healthcare workers, to recognise their unique role during the pandemic. Following extensive engagement with healthcare unions on the matter, on 19th April the HSE published eligibility guidelines and FAQs, as apply to the HSE and Section 38 agencies, which are available on its website: https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/resources/hr-circulars/hr-circular-012-2022-pandemic-special-recognition-payment.html
Latest available figures from the HSE show that at 3 June 2022, 26,090 eligible HSE staff were paid, to a value of €25,165,600. This does not include Section 38 organisations, of which the HSE is aware that a number have made the payment (and has requested figures from other organisations):
- Beaumont Hospital
- Mercy University Hospital Cork
- Rotunda Hospital
- South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital Cork
The HSE and the Department are currently examining progressing the rollout to the list of 6 non-HSE/non-Section 38 organisation types covered by the Government Decision. Rolling out the payment to eligible non-HSE and non-Section 38 employees is a complex task, particularly as these employees are not normally paid by the public health service, duplicate payments need to be avoided, and there are many organisations to be covered.
Officials in the Department and the HSE are prioritising the work needed to progress this. It is hoped that information will be published shortly for those certain non-HSE/S38 healthcare employees that are covered by the Government Decision and the process available to their employers to implement this measure for their eligible staff. This shall cover eligible staff in:
1. Private Sector Nursing Homes and Hospices (e.g. Private, Voluntary, Section 39 etc.);
2. Eligible staff working on-site in Section 39 long-term residential care facilities for people with disabilities;
3. Agency roles working in the HSE;
4. Health Care Support Assistants (also known as home help / home care / home support) contracted to the HSE;
5. Redeployed members of Department of Defence to work in frontline Covid-19 exposed environments for the HSE;
6. Paramedics employed by the Department of Local Government, Housing and Heritage.
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