The pandemic bonus payment

 

Sir, – I am sure many healthcare workers will welcome the €1,000 bonus announced by Government for those who worked on the “front line” over the last two years.

The exclusion of general practitioners, and in particular general practice nurses, from this does not sit right.

These colleagues were at work all through the pandemic, face to face with patients, providing care at significant risk to themselves. They followed this by administering thousands of vaccines (including over 50 per cent of the recent third doses, which undoubtedly saved us from a devastating wave in the last few weeks).

It is an implicit lack of recognition for a vital (and largely female) part of our health service. – Yours, etc,

Dr DAVID MENZIES,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Nurses are long due a raise in Ireland. While the bonus for front-line workers is a welcome gesture, it’s high time wages in the HSE were reformed to fully appreciate the contribution by nurses given day after day, week after week, year after year. Too often the contribution of nurses is taken for granted. – Yours, etc,

STEPHEN O’SULLIVAN,

Killorglin,

Co Kerry.

Sir, – It would appear that “the front line” is becoming very similar to the numbers in the GPO in 1916. – Yours, etc,

PADDY MacNAMARA,

Sallins,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – The list of people who will demand the tax-free €1,000 will grow, and if the Government did not foresee this, perhaps it is out of touch with Irish society and its propensity toward greed. The problem could possibly be solved if the Government threw open the vaults of the exchequer and invited the citizens to come and avail themselves of its content. No questions asked. – Yours, etc,

MARGARET LEE,

Newport,

Co Tipperary.

Sir, – It’s hard to believe the outcry from those who feel that they are entitled to a special payment for the work they continued doing during the depths of the pandemic. Those, particularly nurses, who were at the coalface in hospitals and nursing home were providing a specialised service which brought them uniquely into close contact with those they were caring for and for extended lengths of time. Student nurses were really put in at the deep end as they tended patients who needed constant monitoring and also watching over the dying and consoling the bereaved. We’re in such a better place now that it’s easy to forget the sheer horror of those days.

Of course, many others continued with their work, such as in shops, transport, An Post, An Garda Síochána, refuse collectors, street cleaners, teachers, and so many more, and none of them have been taken for granted.

March 18th has been set aside as a day to mark all that the pandemic brought with it. It would be a shame if the intention of the day is marred by unions, etc, jumping on the bandwagon. – Yours, etc,

RUTH GILL,

Birr,

Co Offaly.

Sir, – So the Government has decided to pay €1,000 to front-line workers who stepped up to the plate and got us through the pandemic. Prompted by the other groups who are coming forward to classify themselves as frontline workers, I am going to apply for my €1,000 on foot of my sacrifice in cocooning in my home in the early days of the lockdown. My husband is also going to apply for his €1,000 arising from his Herculean contribution to the country in putting up with my daily whingeing at being locked up. – Yours, etc,

Dr PATRICIA BARKER,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – They’ll need a new vaccine to suppress the wave of claims for the €1,000 bonus. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL KEEGAN,

Booterstown,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – It seems that the €1,000 pay out to front-line health workers by the Government may end up as another “own goal” since there is a clamour now for it to be extended to a lot of other groups .

The phrase “one for everyone in the audience” comes to mind! – Yours, etc,

TADHG McCARTHY,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Early signs of how the Government intends to roll out the bonus payment to those who did sterling work during the pandemic are ominous (“GPs will not get bonus payment for frontline healthcare workers”, News, January 20th).

With a whole raft of citizens who put the wellbeing of others before their own likely see their efforts receive lesser recognition, are we about to see another case of a cack-handed, begrudging Government taking a good idea and turning it into a dog’s dinner that will end up being the source of great hurt and friction within the community? – Yours, etc,

JIM O’SULLIVAN,

Rathedmond,

Sligo.