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Laois TD calls on Taoiseach to provide a ‘recognition support package’ for frontline healthcare workers

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise
Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise

A Laois TD has called on the government to provide a recognition bonus package to the frontline healthcare staff.

Independent Cathal Berry says there people have been working tirelessly since the start of the pandemic.

This issue was previously highted by Deputy Berry back in January with Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar.

He said: “Our hospital system is under severe strain and pressure at the moment.

“It is being felt by all our front-line healthcare professionals, including our doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare assistants and everybody else involved.

“They have been fighting this virus for almost two years now and are completely exhausted and burned out.

“They are used to making life-and-death decisions about their patients, but this is the first time that many of them are making life-and-death decisions about themselves.

“Even showing up for a shift in a hospital is exposing them to significant danger, suffering and distress.

“There was a lot of talk over the summer about providing a recognition package to our front-line healthcare workers for the extra stress they are under but that talk has dissipated since.

“There was mention of a small ex gratia payment and additional leave to assist in their recovery. There was even talk of an additional bank holiday to recognise the contribution of essential workers across the country and wider society.

“The morale of healthcare workers is really low at the moment, and they could do with a lift or a boost.

“A recognition package for our frontline healthcare workers is essential, they deserve far more than just another round of applause.’

Deputy Berry also called on the Taoiseach to provide some form of recognition for the voluntary, unpaid workers who are working in testing and vaccination centres all around the country.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.