The families of doctors putting their lives on the line in the fight against COVID-19 in Wales have been let down, says BMA Cymru Wales, as Welsh Government has rejected its calls for full financial support for families should the worst happen.
This afternoon the Welsh Government announced the headline of a life assurance scheme for health and social care workers who die from COVID-19 in the course of essential frontline work. Their dependents will be paid a single sum of 60 thousand pounds.
As the number of health workers to tragically die from COVID-19 continues to rise, the doctors’ union had persistently lobbied Welsh Government to provide all NHS staff with full death in service benefits regardless of whether they are a member of the NHS Pension Scheme or not.
Dr David Bailey, Chair BMA Welsh Council, said:
“We are disappointed that our calls for families of doctors working on the frontline to receive full death in service benefits during this pandemic have been rejected by Welsh Government. These dedicated healthcare professionals are working in stressful conditions day in, day out to protect our loved ones, yet have been denied provisions for their own loved ones, should they find themselves paying the ultimate price for their service.
“Whilst this single payment may seem a sizeable sum, it comes nowhere near compensating families for the lifetime income their loved one may have earned if they hadn’t died prematurely, fighting this crisis on the frontline.”
“We are continually asking doctors and other healthcare professionals to put themselves at risk during what is likely to be one of the most testing times of their careers. We are asking so much of them, but they are being denied peace of mind for their families.
“We are extremely disappointed that Welsh Government has not followed Scotland’s lead to ensure that the dependants of all those who are putting themselves at risk on the front line, at the request of the Welsh Government, are entitled to full death in service benefits of the NHS pension scheme, as they deserve.
“The BMA will be examining closely the detail of the Government’s life assurance scheme.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
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