Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Health

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Mark WardMark Ward (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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385. To ask the Minister for Health if Covid-19 community swabbers will receive the €1,000 bonus offered to healthcare workers; if not, the reason for this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17173/22]

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 on site in COVID-19 exposed healthcare environments within the period between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2021.

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 / Swabbers / 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.

The measure 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). The measure further 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, particulars and terms and conditions that apply. Additionally, the Department and the HSE are currently consulting with health sector trade unions on this matter. This consultation is part of the Department and HSE’s objective to finalise the application of this measure fairly.

Upon conclusion of consultations with the trade unions, full details of the application process, FAQs and other particulars shall be published by the HSE. Noting that the details will be finalised once this consultation has concluded, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this point.


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