Conclusions on occupational diseases of doctors from COVID-19 not completed in 69% of cases
KYIV. Dec 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Conclusions from case reviews of diseases by physicians related to their professional activities have not been completed in 69% of cases due to the lack of materials from epidemiological investigations, Head of the Department of Prevention of Insured Events and the Executive Directorate of the Social Insurance Fund of Ukraine Serhiy Tarovyk said.
"The executive directorate of the fund analyzes the problematic issues that arise during the investigation of acute occupational diseases with coronavirus infection among medical workers. If we analyze the main reasons for the delay in investigations, we currently have conclusions on only 8,117 victims out of 33,436 ones. As for 17,537 victims, or 69%, we do not yet have conclusions, since there are no materials from the epidemiological investigation," he said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.
He also said that the investigations are also being delayed due to the lack of conclusions of infectious disease physicians and occupational pathologists: "For this reason, 24% of investigations, or 5,955 pieces, have not yet been completed."
He said that, according to the Social Insurance Fund, only 13% of COVID-19 cases among medical workers, for which the reports were drawn up, the investigations lasted up to a month, and 60% of the investigations last from one to three months. According to him, the Ministry of Health is currently updating the procedure for conducting epidemiological investigations, which will speed up their conduct, including investigations of acute occupational diseases.
"These changes can accelerate the conduct of such investigations, and this will lead to the fact that the victim or his family members will be able to receive the appropriate insurance payments from the social insurance fund more quickly," he said.
Tarovyk said that a medical worker's disease of COVID-19 is recognized as an occupational disease if the medical worker performs his/her duties in accordance with his/her job descriptions. In this case, the medical worker is entitled to appropriate payments.
At the same time, the commission investigates all COVID-19 cases among medical workers.
In turn, Director of the Executive Directorate of the Social Insurance Fund of Ukraine Tetiana Mykhailenko said that the fund does not save money and the establishment of the facts of COVID-19 disease by medical workers due to the fulfillment of professional duties is not connected with this. "There are funds," she said.
According to her, UAH 233 million was allocated from the fund for payments to medical workers infected with COVID-19, or to family members of medical workers who died as a result of such a disease while performing their official duties. According to the fund, currently, out of 53 proceedings related deaths of medical workers infected with COVID-19, some 41 people have applied for payments.
Now the fund has already paid lump-sum benefits from the national budget to the families of 33 medical workers in the amount of over UAH 52 million.
To date, the fund's commission has ended investigations into 8,117 COVID-19 cases, some 2,572 of them are recognized as related to proceedings, including 53 fatal.
The fund also financed assistance in case of a disability to seven medical workers in the amount of UAH 4.7 million, compensated earnings of 11,200 medical workers for more than UAH 19 million for the period of self-isolation, appointed 27 lump-sum benefits at the expense of the fund in case of death from an occupational COVID-19 disease worth almost UAH 6 million.
In addition, the fund has appointed lump-sum payments for 12 physicians who have been diagnosed with persistent disability in the amount of UAH 195,200, appointed monthly life-long insurance payments for 12 physicians in a total of UAH 133,000, appointed 29 people eligible for payments in case of the death of a medical worker, monthly payments totaling UAH 482,600, appointed lump-sum benefits for 20 dependents in case of the death of medical workers in the amount of UAH 869,300. The fund also paid for temporary disability benefits during the treatment of medical workers from COVID-19 in the amount of more than UAH 9 million.