New York City’s public hospitals chief wants to provide bonuses to front-line “hero” medical workers who are risking their own health to save the lives of patients suffering from the coronavirus.
“We’re trying to figure out how to give people bonuses for their hard work,” Dr. Mitchell Katz, president/CEO of Health + Hospitals, which oversees the city’s 11 public hospitals, said in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association posted Monday.
“These [doctors and nurses] are heroes. They’re saving people’s lives,” Katz said.
He said many of the medical staffers have almost exclusively focused on providing oxygen to serious ill COVID-19 patients to keep them alive.
“They’re tired. They’re traumatized from the number of deaths they’ve seen,” Katz said.
Talk of bonuses comes amid a fiscal crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Mayor de Blasio is recommending cuts to his spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.
But the city hospital system should be in line for federal funds under the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan. Of that total, at least $100 billion is earmarked for hospitals and other medical facilities nationwide.
Asked to elaborate, a spokesman for Katz said, “NYC Health + Hospitals’ front-line employees are heroes and deserve recognition for their hard work serving New Yorkers in need. We are looking at all our options, financial and non-financial, to recognize our heroes.
Mayor de Blasio’s office had no immediate comment on whether he was considering giving hospital workers bonuses.
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