The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has called for long Covid to be treated as nothing less than a workplace injury.
The union claims proposals for a new scheme to replace the Special Leave with Pay Scheme for healthcare workers with long Covid don't go far enough.
The INMO insisted the HSE, the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure, should suspend the ending of the Special Leave with Pay, pending discussions with unions.
An INMO spokesperson said: “What is being put forward by Government does not go far enough. Healthcare workers with long Covid went to work and contracted Covid when there were very few protections available to them. Their illness should be treated as nothing less than a workplace injury.
“The INMO is concerned that no dialogue on an occupational injury scheme has taken place despite willingness from healthcare unions.
“For the Government and the HSE to try to come up with a solution now after the scheme that was in place has expired is nothing short of inexcusable.
“As a matter of urgency, the HSE, Department of Health and Department of Public Expenditure should suspend their cessation of the Special Leave with Pay pending discussions between healthcare unions and the employer.
“Anything less than an Occupational Injury Scheme for healthcare workers with long Covid will be unacceptable.”