Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has welcomed confirmation from Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly that he and his Department are actively considering a compensation scheme for the families of healthcare workers who died as a result of contracting COVID-19.
Teachta Crowe said:
“We have lost eight healthcare workers to COVID-19. Well over 8,000 have been infected. General secretary of the INMO Phil Ní Sheaghdha told the Oireachtas COVID-19 Committee that Irish Healthcare workers have one of the highest infection rates in the world. Let’s be honest and forthright, we failed those workers at the beginning through lack of PPE and too many workers contracted COVID-19 when it could have been prevented.
“These workers ran towards the fire when COVID-19 came to Ireland and have risked everything in the fight against the virus and to ensure the health and wellbeing of the rest of us. They worked with substandard PPE; some were working in painters’ overalls; some were working without any at all.
“Establishing a compensation scheme for the families of those healthcare workers who died is the right thing to do on so many levels. I am pleased by the confirmation by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly in a parliamentary question response to me that he and his Department are actively considering such a scheme with a view to presenting it to Cabinet soon.
“I can only hope now that they work swiftly and bring a comprehensive proposal that recognises and respects the sacrifice by these healthcare workers and their families. They gave everything for us. We should in some way recognise their courage, commitment, and sacrifice and in some small way give something back.”