Flemish government allocates €102 million to help with recovery of residential care centres
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Flemish government allocates €102 million to help with recovery of residential care centres

Credit: Belga

The Flemish government will be providing residential care centres in the region with financial security until the end of this year by allocating €102 million to the sector, Flemish Minister of Welfare and Public Health Wouter Beke announced on Sunday.

This scheme consists of various compensations to offer support to care centres that have suffered reduced occupancy as a result of the crisis, and will be a continuity of the current support system after it expires on 31 March.

“Everyone involved in elder care will recognise that these compensations make a substantial difference on the ground. It will give the sector breathing space and time to recover from a very heavy period with many coronavirus outbreaks,” said Beke.

The coronavirus crisis has resulted in a large number of vacancies in care centres due to a period of admission bans to limit visitors and an increase in mortalities because of outbreaks.

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As part of this scheme, the government will fully cover the basic allowance for long-term care and will cover up to 70% of the costs for daily care.

However, this support will be limited to 20% of the usual capacity in Flemish care centres, and the centres have to guarantee that staff will not be reduced or laid off to benefit from this package.

The Flemish government has also guaranteed funding for structural investments, which will fund the temporary employment of job students, nurses, care experts, psychologists, logistics staff and other care workers for the period from 1 April to 30 September.

“The Flemish care sector will be able to recruit on a massive scale, allowing the existing staff to enjoy a well-deserved break for all the extra hours they worked during the heavy covid period,” the press release from Beke’s cabinet read.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times