Tens of thousands for covid. The state will pay them only to patients who meet the conditions

Tens of thousands for covid. The state will pay them only to patients who meet the conditions
Tens of thousands for covid. The state will pay them only to patients who meet the conditions

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There are a total of 13 centers that assess occupational diseases in the Czech Republic. And as most of them confirm, their workers are still overwhelmed by the number of requests to recognize covid-19 as an occupational disease.

“By the end of July 2022, about 20,000 requests for assessment of covid-19 as an occupational disease were submitted to the centers. As of June 30, 8,434 occupational diseases with the diagnosis of covid-19 were reported to the national register,” Ondřej Jakob, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, explained to Seznam Zprávy.

People will receive compensation only if they meet the given conditions. For example, they must have a symptomatic course of the disease and an officially confirmed covid-19 test. Also important is the so-called hygienic condition – i.e. a person works in a job where, according to the List of Occupational Diseases, there is a proven risk of infection.

Clearly stated conditions

In the case of covid, these are mainly healthcare workers from ambulances, inpatient wards or social care facilities. Or carers working in social services, police officers, paramedics or firefighters.

“On the other hand, for other professions, such as various administrative positions, the performance of retail sales or work activities in manufacturing plants, subject to compliance with valid anti-epidemic measures, the probability of the spread of the covid-19 infection is not expected to be higher than that of the general population,” states the ministry .

How much did the vaccines cost?

The Czechia had to buy around 48 million doses of vaccines against covid-19. So far, however, only 17 million have been administered, and some of the vaccines will probably end up in flames. How much will all this cost?

According to Zdeňka Hajduková, head of the Department of Preventive and Occupational Medicine at the Ostrava University Hospital, the key is precisely what course of the disease a person encountered. This can also be reflected in the final compensation amount.

“Clinical symptoms of covid-19 disease, recorded in the health documentation of a general practitioner and the fulfillment of the conditions for the occurrence of the disease, which are saved by the Regional Hygiene Station, are decisive for the recognition of an occupational disease,” explained the doctor.

For example, the Occupational Medicine Clinic of the Hradec Králové University Hospital recorded over 486 requests for investigation of occupational diseases from the beginning of this year to mid-July. Last year there were 854, and a total of 155 for 2020. According to spokesman Jakub Sochor, roughly 98 percent of all requests relate to covid.

“The clinic still registers four to six new requests for investigations every day, which it deals with gradually. The majority of requests are justified, occupational diseases of these persons are recognized as occupational diseases after examination of the state of health and verification of conditions at the workplace. The clinic also registers non-recognition of occupational diseases, but this is about 1 to 2% of the overall submitted applications,” explained Jakub Sochor.

Tens of thousands for an illness

Paramedic Bohuslav Zrza, who contracted covid while on duty in the fall of 2020, also claimed compensation due to covid-19. After an intervention in a home for the elderly, it turned out that the patient being treated was positive. Three days later, the entire ambulance crew fell ill.

“They informed us that they did not have covid in the home, but it turned out that the lady had a fever. And after three days we all got it,” he previously described for Seznam Zprávy.

The paramedic ended up spending 17 days in the hospital with fever and was unable to work for more than a month. The application for recognition of an occupational disease was followed by an examination and filling in of questionnaires about contact with patients. In approximately ten months, the doctors accepted the request and Bohuslav Zrza received compensation worth tens of thousands of crowns.

However, how high a sum a person receives depends on the point evaluation, which must be in accordance with the legal decree. However, the patient is also entitled to additional money, for example compensation for lost wages for the period of temporary incapacity for work.

“One point is worth 250 crowns. The point assessment of pain and impairment of social status in the recognized disease of covid-19 most often ranges from 50 to 200 points, but it depends very much on the seriousness of its course. The compensation for loss of earnings during the period of incapacity for work then depends on the amount of earnings of the assessed person,” explained Andrea Vargová, spokeswoman for the Karvina mining hospital, for Seznam Zprávy.

An applicant whose occupational disease is recognized can therefore earn up to 50,000 crowns in terms of compensation itself. However, as Jitka Zinke, spokesperson for the Central Military Hospital points out, the average compensation is usually lower.

“Our personnel department is now registering documents for approximately 130 recognitions of experienced covid-19 as an occupational disease. In about 80 cases, the documents have already been handed over to the insurance company for payment, and the average amount of compensation is about 30,000,” said Zinke.

Waiting even several months

If, in theory, this amount were paid out on average for all 8,434 recognized applications registered so far, insurance companies would pay out approximately 253 million crowns for occupational covid.

As confirmed by the contacted centers, the number of cases continues to be assessed and the stacks of documents are only slowly thinning out – people can therefore wait several months to a year for recognition and payment of money. However, the total amount of compensation issued for occupational covid will probably continue to increase.

“Administrative activities connected with the investigation of potential occupational diseases and the compensation of confirmed ones are extremely time-consuming – to compare with the “pre-covid” era, one to three cases were solved in one year, but in 2021 alone, 150 occupational diseases were compensated – just the cases of covid ,” explained Václav Řičář from the Liberec Regional Hospital.

How to apply

First of all, it is necessary to ensure the documentation of the disease. A doctor’s report and a positive covid test.

Furthermore, the injured party must submit an application to the relevant department of occupational medicine with permission to recognize occupational diseases. You can find their list here.

This may invite the injured party to a medical examination, or simply evaluate his documentation. Then, in cooperation with the hygiene station, he will conduct an investigation at the employer with the participation of the injured party. What kind of work, under what conditions did he perform, usually 30 days before the infection was confirmed, what protective equipment was he equipped with, etc.

After the application is accepted, the employer together with the injured party determines the amount of the damage (lost earnings and sick pay) and forwards it to the insurance company.

Finally, the insurance company will pay compensation directly to the injured employee.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Tens thousands covid state pay patients meet conditions

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