Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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199. To ask the Minister for Health if he will review correspondence (details supplied); the mechanism or procedure being put in place for same; the way that staff might be contacted if eligible for this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15271/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Firstly I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all healthcare workers for their efforts during this most challenging period.

The Government announced a COVID-19 recognition payment for front-line public sector healthcare workers, to recognise their unique role during the pandemic. The measure will be ring fenced to staff ordinarily onsite in COVID-19 exposed healthcare environments within the period between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2021. A pro-rata arrangement will be put in place for eligible part-time staff.

This payment will be made to those eligible public sector front-line healthcare staff (inclusive of agency staff working for the HSE) who worked in clinical settings, noting this list is not exhaustive: those Doctors / Nurses / Health Care Assistants / Porters / Cleaners etc. that work in clinical settings. The measure encompasses Health Care Support Assistants (also known as Home Carers / Home Help) employed by or carrying out duties contracted to the HSE. It also encompasses those eligible working on site in long term residential care facilities for people with disabilities (inclusive of those facilities whether HSE or section 39).

Separately, the measure also extends to those equivalent healthcare workers in private nursing homes and hospices. Arrangements for this sector encompassed by this measure are currently being progressed by the Department of Health.

The Department of Health appreciates the levels of interest this announcement has generated. We are working together with the HSE to provide additional details on this measure including full eligibility criteria, communications, and terms and conditions that apply.

Upon conclusion of ongoing consultations with the relevant trade unions, full details of the application process, FAQs and other particulars shall be published by the HSE. While the details will be finalised once this consultation has concluded, and the Department is not in a position to comment on individual cases, I trust that further clarity on the implementation of this measure will be publicly available in the very near future.


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