Limerick health workers start receiving pandemic bonuses

THE University of Limerick Hospitals Group has started paying the €1,000 pandemic bonus to frontline health workers, five months after the special recognition award was announced.

Payment to staff at University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Ennis, Nenagh, St John’s and Croom hospitals started last week.

A spokesman for the UL Hospitals Group told the Irish Examiner that the majority of eligible healthcare workers are expected to be paid by the end of June and that additional funds will be provided from the HSE to support the payment of the award.

Apart from the hospitals, many community healthcare staff, including professional carers, are still waiting for their payment which was announced on January 19.

A spokesman for HSE Mid West Community Healthcare said  the process of facilitating payment of the Pandemic Special Recognition Award in Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary is well under way.

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Minister of State at the Department of Health Mary Butler previously confirmed that payment to community staff not directly employed by the HSE are expected to be finalised by mid-July.

This means that home carers with private companies on HSE contracts, as well as carers in voluntary organisations in a similar situation, could be waiting at least another month for payment.

Carers have expressed frustration at the delays, pointing out some of their peers who are HSE employees have already received the payment.

People working in private nursing homes, redeployed members of the Defence Forces, eligible staff in some long-term residential care facilities for people with disabilities, and paramedics with the Department of Local Government, Housing and Heritage are also among those yet to hear about their bonus.