More than 23,400 health professionals who are at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic have already received the extraordinary risk support of January and February. The data has been provided to Dinheiro Vivo by the Ministry of Health, which, however, acknowledges delays in processing this support.
An official source in The Feared said: “To date, the exceptional risk allowance, as a result of the works carried out in January and February, has been paid to 23,455 workers, at a global cost of 6.5 million euros.” Marta. However, there are still professionals waiting for the support planned in the state budget for 2021 (OE2021).
The Extraordinary Hazard Allowance has been established in the scope of OE2021 and applies during the period of pandemic, emergency, disaster (which we are currently in) and emergency. This applies to all health professionals involved in emergency medical response and patient transportation, who perform “direct work mostly related to suspected persons and patients with Covid-19 disease, permanently, and in designated services or areas,” as the Ministry of Health explains.
The value of risk support is 20% of the base wage and cannot exceed € 219.40, i.e. half of the 2021 fixed social support index, at € 438.81. In cases where professionals have been on the front lines for less than a month, the amount is calculated proportionally. Calculated monthly and paid every two months.
Delay in multiple units
Although more than 24,000 health professionals have already been treated, the ministry under Marta Temedo is aware of the delay. “Some entities have yet to process the relevant risk support, for reasons related, in particular, to measuring the number of days that the workers concerned perform jobs in the related services or membership units to obtain this right,” he explains in the explanation sent to DV.
This exceptional support came into effect with the state budget on January 1 of this year, but the decree defining the terms of the award was not published until March 17, after the Prime Minister encountered, on the same day, news of the delay in the payment of the subsidy reported by Público newspaper.
According to Ministry of Health data, that month, a subsidy was only paid to approximately five thousand (4907) professionals from seven health institutions: São João, in Porto, Braga Hospital, Hospital de Gaia, Espinho, Centro Hospital in Leiria, founding Centro Hospitalar do Médio Tejo and Centro Hospitalar de Entre Douro e Vouga, DV.
Last week, in front of the deputies of the Parliamentary Health Committee, the independent union of doctors (SIM) denounced the delay. “In most cases the risk subsidy is not paid or addressed, and when it is addressed it is uneven,” said Herminia Teixeira of the SIM, adding, “It is essential to know what is happening and what recommendations are being given to financial services in exchange for payment.” The same idea was echoed by Rosa Ribeiro of the National Union of Physicians (FNAM), who stated that the subsidy “is not paid equally” and referred to a hospital case she was aware of, “since half of the patients did not have the disease, the doctors would receive half the support.”
In response to DV, the Ministry of Health acknowledged flaws, as mentioned above, but ensures that it speeds up the process. “This April, the processing and payment of the sums relating to the extraordinary risk allowance was requested, in relation to all other workers who are entitled to it,” confirms the clarification provided by Marta Temedo’s office, adding the following: “A cross-sectional clarification session was promoted even by the central administration The health system, through a webinar, was held last April 9th.
In this seminar questions such as: How do you calculate? What is related business? Or who is entitled to a subsidy? For example, professionals in basic emergency services are not taken into account as are the elements involved in pandemic vaccination.
In addition to health professionals, the military from the Armed Forces, the National Republican Guard (GNR), members of the Public Security Police (PSP), the Judicial Police, the General Directorate of Reintegration and Prison Services, the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) and professionals in the sapper profession. Dinheiro Vivo has requested data from the Ministries of Internal Management and Defense, but has not received a response at the end of this edition.