St Joseph's Care Centre
Frontline healthcare staff at St Joseph's Care Centre in Longford are to receive their €1,000 Covid bonus payment by the end of the month, HSE chiefs have revealed this morning.
Senior health bosses have issued a statement to the Leader this morning after this newspaper revealed only yesterday how a large number of staff who worked through the pandemic had yet to receive their bonus.
The issue was one which looked set to dominate a meeting of the HSE's Dublin Mid Leinster Health Forum next Tuesday after several local politicians hit out at the delay.
In a statement released to the Leader this morning, a spokesperson said it was anticipated monies due to eligible staff would be processed over the next two weeks.
"It is envisaged payment will issue to relevant staff by the end of June, 2022," read the statement.
Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Peggy Nolan had earlier accused senior health bosses of dragging their heels over the payment to staff who had gone to huge personal sacrifices during one of the country's most challenging health crises in recent memory.
"This whole debacle is verging on hypocrisy," she stormed.
"We depended on this group of staff to keep all our elderly safe through Covid and they did at great risk to their own safety.
"We banged pots and we banged windows and we lit windows and now it’s about time we banged on the Government’s door and say: "Pay them and pay them without any further delay."
Cllr Nolan said besides the great lengths healthcare workers went to since the arrival of Coronavirus in March 2020, there was an onus on the State to ensure their efforts were not taken for granted should further health crises materialise in the future.
"This is bordering on absolute hypocrisy," she added.
"The nation needs to know that if we get another virus, anything on the scale of Covid that these people will realise that they are really appreciated and that it’s not just hypocrisy."
Dublin Mid Leinster HSE Health Forum members Cllrs PJ Reilly and Paul Ross followed suit with both calling on HSE chiefs to expedite the payment to eligible staff as a matter of urgency.
"It is regrettable this payment hasn’t been made because a lot of staff had banked on this payment," said Cllr Ross.
"The minister said back in April this would be made and made available at the next available slot but we are now in the middle of June and I would like to see this being rolled out as soon as possible so as to not leave staff waiting any longer."
Under the workings of the payment, any 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 Covid-19 vaccine will be eligible for the payment.
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