€100,000 to be paid to families of healthcare workers who died of Covid-19 while working

€100,000 to be paid to families of healthcare workers who died of Covid-19 while working

THE GOVERNMENT has announced that a €100,000 payment will given to the estate of any healthcare worker who died after contracting Covid-19 in the course of their work.

The payment will be tax-free and specified broadly, with all healthcare workers who were designated 'essential' during the first phases of the pandemic to be included.

This includes GPs and other workers in primary care, including administrative staff, disability services stand, and private staff in nursing homes and throughout the healthcare system.

Those who worked in hospice services, pharmacies services and dental services will all also be included.

Over 39,000 healthcare workers contracted Covid-19 according to the HPSC, the majority of which were repotted in the most recent waves of infection.

"When this pandemic began, there were no vaccines, and our understanding of COVID-19 was limited," Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said.

"Nevertheless, we had to ask healthcare workers to come to work in workplaces where we knew COVID was present. They were required to assume an unknown level of risk in their work, a level that had not existed before, and they took on that risk. The government has already taken steps to recognise this phenomenal dedication; but in a small number of cases, the worst happened, and something more is appropriate."

"Unfortunately, a small number of healthcare workers contracted Covid-19 in work and sadly passed away," he said.

"Since the first death occurred, this has been of significant concern to myself and my colleagues in Government and I am now putting in place this scheme to try to alleviate any short-term financial hardship the families of healthcare worker who lost their lives may be suffering; and as a gesture of further recognition on behalf of the people of Ireland."

He said he was aware of cases where families have been left without income due to a worker being a temporary worker or a locum.

"This payment will mean that these families will have some support from the state to provide for their needs and serves as an acknowledgment of our debt of gratitude to the extraordinary sacrifices their loved ones made to protect others," he finished.

The Department of Health is working with Pobal, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), and other relevant parties to put in place a straightforward application process for impacted families.