Healthcare unions issue ultimatum for Long Covid compensation
The Cabinet must commit to arranging compensation for healthcare workers suffering from symptoms caused by Covid-19 well after they recovered from the disease, a syndrome known as Long Covid. If the Cabinet does not establish an adequate solution by 9 September at the latest, trade unions FNV and CNV will take the matter to court, FNV Vice-Chair Kitty Jong cautioned in an interview, following a report in AD.
"Our patience is more than exhausted," said Jong. The union repeatedly alerted officials about the issue related to the coronavirus pandemic. "Now we mean business. Our healthcare workers were sent into the field in the first months without protection. The State is responsible for this and we believe that the State is also legally liable."
The FNV already prepared legal proceedings this summer. "Everything is at the ready," said Jong. The union heard that Cabinet ministers will be present on 9 September during the Council of Ministers meeting in the run-up to the annual budget presentation later that month. Compensation for healthcare personnel may also be discussed. The FNV wants to hear a promise from the minister by that date at the latest.
Care workers who have lost their jobs due to Long Covid must certainly be covered by the compensation, Jong said. "But a much larger group suffers from loss of income, for example because they are not able to offer as many services. In fact, the compensation should be as generous as possible."
In June, the subsidy scheme for employers with healthcare employees who have been sick at home for two years with Long Covid started. This means that about half of the wage costs will be covered by the government for six months longer, in the hope that these people will recover enough during that time to eventually take up their work again.
A month later, the Council for Public Health & Society (RVS) called this arrangement insufficient. The RVS recommended several proposals, including a fund "for recognition and compensation for the suffering" of healthcare staff who became ill at the beginning of the crisis.
Reporting by ANP