Nurse with face mask washing hands via iStock / HRAUN

All Czech hospital staff to receive bonuses for working during COVID-19 epidemic

All healthcare workers, not only those looking after COVID-19 patients, will be entitled a a bonus under a new proposal

Prague, July 7 (CTK) – All healthcare workers who worked in hospitals full time during the coronavirus epidemic, not only those looking after COVID-19 patients, should get bonuses, according to a proposal from the Czech Republic’s health care trade union.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (for ANO) have agreed the proposal with the healthcare trade union today, Vojtěch has said.

The Czech government will around some ten billion crowns on the bonuses under the proposal, Vojtěch told reporters after the meeting.

The Czech Health Ministry should prepare the respective subsidy by the end of July, Babiš said, adding they would negotiate about this with Finance Minister Alena Schillerová (for ANO).

Health and Social Care Workers’ Trade Union chairwoman Dagmar Žitníková is of the view that the health personnel looking after COVID-19 patients should get an extraordinary bonus of up to 40,000 crowns.

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Those taking care of patients without knowing whether they were infected with the novel coronavirus or not would be entitled to a bonus of up to 30,000 crowns, and others would get up to 10,000 crowns each, according to Žitníková.

“We will yet have to debate the real numbers of healthcare workers whom the subsidy would concern with the trade unions. If we reach consensus on this with the Finance Ministry, we will prepare the subsidy program,” Vojtěch said.

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He referenced the Communist-proposed changes to the government budget amendment that were prepared in the Chamber of Deputies to allocate 500 million crowns from the budget reserve to bonuses for healthcare personnel in social services and 1.25 billion crowns for those in hospitals.

“Consequently, the sum would have to be raised as we agreed today to go to all healthcare employees working in hospital then,” Vojtěch added.

“All who were working in hospitals during this period will get something,” said Martin Engel, the chairman of the Czech Doctors Trade Union Club-Association of Czech Doctors (LOK-SCL).

This is an equivalent of the bonuses for social service workers, Babiš pointed out.

In May, the government approved bonuses for employees in social services for their work during the COVID-19 epidemic of 40,000, 20,000 and 10,000 crowns a month based on the type of their work and the risk of infection. The cabinet earmarked 5.2 billion crowns for them.

A compensatory directive has been in effect since July 1, changing this year’s financial coverage of health care by health insurers, Vojtěch noted. It is to take the decline in care from March to May during the coronavirus outbreak into consideration and compensate the hospitals’ higher costs with the COVID-19 patients. It will also add some money for bonuses of the healthcare personnel on the frontline.

The directive counts with 354 billion crowns for health care compared to the originally approved 346 billion for this year.

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