The government should pay Long Covid patients: FNV
Trade union FNV and the General Education Association (AOb) have proposed the Cabinet set aside 150 million euros for education and care workers who contracted Covid-19 during their jobs and are still suffering the effects years later. The organizations are asking for a maximum of 22,000 euros per victim.
The government should take responsibility for keeping schools open and not always giving health care workers the right protective equipment, they said in a statement. They believe ventilation systems in schools and childcare facilities were also mismanaged, causing more harm.
“Many healthcare and education employees have become infected at work and are now suffering financial damage as a result. With a contribution from a government fund, the heroes who sacrificed their health would finally get recognition for their situation," said FNV vice chair Kitty Jong in the statement.
During the first lockdown, it was assumed that children could not transmit the virus to adults –– which "turned out to be absolutely not true," said AOb chair Tamar van Gelder. As a result, workers in emergency care and childcare were made vulnerable in order to keep society going during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the organizations.
Now, there seems to be no immediate safety net for care workers suffering from Long Covid, the organizations believe. Healthcare employees told AD in April that they were afraid of losing their jobs as the two-year protection against dismissal approached. More than 1,000 employees have lost their jobs as a result of Long Covid, according to responses to hotlines set up by FNV Zorg & Welzijn and the AOb. This included at least 113 healthcare workers.
The FNV and AOb believe Long Covid should be treated like other occupational diseases, such as lung damage from Asbestos exposure. If a fund is not established, the FNV will hold the government liable, it said.