No sign of €1,000 Pandemic Bonus in health Louth facilities
Healthcare workers in Drogheda are concerned that their colleagues in other parts of the country are receiving the €1,000 COVID-19 Pandemic Bonus, and there is still no sign of any payment in Louth hospitals or care facilities.
The special once-off payment, which was announced in January of this year, was rolled out nationally on April 15th to frontline healthcare workers employed by the HSE.
At the time of its launch, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the tax-free payment would be made ‘as soon as possible to those who are confirmed as eligible, through the next available payroll’.
However, nursing staff in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda have said there is no word when they will receive the payment.
"I have a nursing colleague in Dublin who received the payment in their wages in April, as did others in Dublin hospitals, so I wonder when it will arrive to outside Dublin,” said one nurse, who did not want to be identified.
"We all worked so hard through the crisis, and we should all receive the payment at the same time if it is coming.”
The payment to eligible public healthcare and ambulance workers, first announced on January 19th, is being made in recognition of their efforts during the two-year COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, a spokesman for Mr Donnelly said some healthcare workers employed by the HSE may receive the payment in April or May, depending on when their regular wage payment falls.
Healthcare staff who between March 1st 2020 and June 30th 2021 worked in a frontline environment that warranted their inclusion in the first two ‘priority sequence groups’ for the vaccine will be eligible for the payment.
Health Care Assistants (HCAs) are also included, but have also not been told when it will be paid.
“As far as I know, not one penny has been paid to anyone in Drogheda, and people who didn’t work on COVID-designated wards are still not sure if they will even get,” said a HCA.
Meanwhile the National Community Care Network (NCCN) has called on the Minister for Health to urgently clarify when community-based carers will receive the long-awaited €1,000 Pandemic Special Recognition Payment for frontline healthcare workers.
Under the original proposals, only those carers who are directly employed the HSE would have received the €1,000 payment, but the organisation understands Minister Donnelly is expanding this to all community-based carers.