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17.05.2020 Europe

French health minister wants to boost wages for health workers

LISTEN MAY 17, 2020

France's Health Minister Olivier Veran has said he is working on a new support plan for hospitals and healthcare workers, including pay raises and revised working hours and conditions for those on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic, which he hopes to unveil by summer.

In an interview with French Sunday weeklyLe Journal Du Dimanche, Veran said he would begin consultations on 25 May with health representatives and other partners to ensure workers are adequately compensated for the risks they have been subjected to in helping to combat the coronavirus.

“I want to move quickly," said Veran. "I want to present the plan this summer in order to include all possible measures in the next social security budget,” said the health minister.

The new support plan is to include a pay raise for essential health workers in addition to recent bonuses they have already received.

“The nation will have to make a major effort to recognise their role,” said Veran.

The health minister also wants to restructure working hours to create more flexible conditions for hospital staff.

“If health workers want to work more and increase their wages, it must be possible. For that, we must review the organisation of hospital working hours,” he said.

His plan also includes reorganising investments for the health sector.

France has confirmed 142,291 cases of Covid-19 and 27,625 deaths, according to the latest health ministry figures on Sunday. 

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