Public and private hospital staff will receive an economic incentive of $600

Full-time staff at public and private hospitals in Puerto Rico will receive a new incentive of $600, the governor announced Thursday Peter Pierluisi as part of the measures extended or decreed today to stop the rebound of the COVID-19 and its impact on the health system.

This new assistance will be disbursed to both full-time employees and contractors who meet minimum hours worked.

“The eligible personnel, whether employees or contractors, will be those who are working in person and who have had a maximum income of $55,000 during the 2021 calendar year,” Pierluisi said at a press conference with the Secretary of the Department of Health, Carlos Mellado.

The president indicated that the people who receive the assistance will be required to continue working in their respective institutions for at least three months after receiving the disbursement.

“The Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF) will begin the process of receiving applications directly from hospitals in the coming days and payments will be made at the end of this month and at the beginning of February,” he said.

Similarly, it was reported that the $600 incentive will be provided, under the same conditions, to all personnel of the tracking system, both state and municipal.

Pierluisi maintained that the work of health personnel in hospitals should be recognized, “who have not stopped their work since the coronavirus arrived on the Island in March 2020. To support them in their effort, we have identified funds to be able to reward each one of these workers and in this way assist them financially”.

The governor clarified that this assistance is not a premium pay and that it is a different program with funds from the Rescue Plan.

The announcement comes at a time when a record number of 905 hospitalizations for the coronavirus are reported and 25 new deaths. Meanwhile, the country maintains a positivity rate of 36.1%.

Health professionals have expressed concern about the impact of the large number of hospitalizations on medical and nursing personnel due to the coronavirus, especially two years after a pandemic that has left them exhausted, on the one hand, and on the other, given the risk of contagion that this supposes for the sector.

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