Medical practitioners will receive benefits of up to 50% of salary in relation to Covid-19
In order to support medical practitioners, epidemiologists, public-health professionals and other practitioners who are directly involved in reducing the spread of Covid-19 and work under high risk and heavy workload conditions, the Government decided today, on 26 March, to allocate a total of EUR 8 million in order to provide these persons with a three-month salary benefits.
Those professionals who have been directly involved in reducing the spread of Covid-19 will receive benefits in March. This means that the benefits will be paid to employees of the State Emergency Medical Service, medical practitioners and other experts working in the Latvian Centre of Infectious Diseases of Riga East University Hospital, in the Laboratory Service, as well as at the points of sampling for analysis.
These are people who carry out emergency visits, take samples for analyses, work in laboratories, and perform other essential functions. The benefits will also be determined for experts of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the National Health Service, as well as employees of the Ministry of Health who provide operational management on a daily basis, take decisions, make recommendations, decide on the initiation of additional measures and react promptly to changes. These people will receive a benefit of up to 50% of the monthly salary for March.
However, from April to May, the benefits will amount to 20% of the monthly salary. It is expected that there will be a broader range of beneficiaries during these months because the work load will also increase in hospitals, incl. regional, due to Covid-19.
In addition, family doctors will receive benefits of up to 30% of salary in March, while 20% in April and May. Family doctors have intensified work with Covid-19 patients and individuals identified as contact persons. The work load has increased by advising other patients, given that the scope of services has been reduced in all medical institutions.
There will also be benefits for pharmacists who may come into contact with Covid-19 patients and whose work load has increased by advising people. Funding for pharmacies will be channelled according to the number of reimbursable medical prescriptions issued from 1 March to 31 May 2020 – by determining EUR 0.71 per prescription, stipulating that pharmacies can only use the funding for pharmacists’ benefits.
To ensure that the benefits are paid to those practitioners who are most directly involved in mitigating the effects of Covid-19, a decision will be made regarding specific criteria and arrangements for payment. When compiling information on the actual costs, the Ministry of Health will submit a request for the funding from the funds for unforeseen cases according to the amount actually needed, not exceeding EUR 8 million.
It is planned that the institutions will be able to pay the benefits for contribution together with the salary. Consequently, the first benefits for March are expected in early April.