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Financial help on the way for nursing homes

© Belga

Health Minister Christie Morreale has decided to grant financial assistance to some nursing homes in Wallonia that have been heavily affected by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), La Libre reports.

For every nursing home that saw its occupancy rate go down by more than 10% between the end of 2019 and June 2020, the ministry proposes to cover 50% of the estimated loss during the second quarter of 2020.

“Many establishments are no longer able to fill the available places once again,” the Office of the Health Minister explained. “Even if the previous immunisation measures decided by the government helped to cushion the financial shock, for months these establishments have been losing the accommodation fees paid by residents, which, in some cases, account for half of their normal operational costs.”

The financial assistance will, however, come with conditions: establishment requesting assistance may not pay out “2020-2021 dividends to shareholders, must maintain employment levels and must commit to not applying for authorisations to raise prices in 2021,” sources at the Minister’s Office added.

“After the collection of data by the Agence wallonne pour une vie de qualité (Aviq – Walloon Agency for Quality Life), 88 establishments will be able to benefit from this assistance, which will cover the second semester of 2020, and amounts to a little over 3 million euros,” according to the Housing Ministry.

The Brussels Times