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Ponta Delgada ,  April 23, 2020

Regional Government to guarantee insurance for health professionals and firefighters in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

The Regional Secretary for Health announced in Ponta Delgada that health professionals and firefighters who are on the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic will be covered by an occupational accident insurance for a minimum period three months. 

Teresa Machado Luciano spoke at a hearing at the Committee on General Policy of the Legislative Assembly. On the occasion, she stated that this insurance intends respond to professionals whose activity poses increased risk, seeing that they are in contact with suspected or confirmed cases of infection in situations of care and transport provision.

In the event of an occupational accident in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this insurance will provide “professionals with increased social protection and additional compensation for possible damages and occupational disability, representing an important support from the Regional Government to these families," stressed the government official.
The Regional Secretary also guaranteed that "all payments to the Humanitarian Associations of Voluntary Firefighters, related to pre-hospital emergency, are made on the 25th of every month and there has never been any delay." 

"The activity of fire brigades continues to be closely monitored," the Secretary for Health said, pointing out that, according to information provided by the Regional Fire Federation, "the financial situation of humanitarian associations is stable." 

Teresa Machado Luciano also revealed that the Regional Government “transfers 309 thousand Euros to the fire associations, through the Azores Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service, on a monthly basis to support costs with the pre-hospital emergency,” besides supporting fuel, vehicle maintenance and insurance payment costs. 

With regard to the costs arising from the increase in crew members and vehicles in the fight against COVID-19, the Regional Secretariat for Health ensured that “they will be paid as soon we receive the respective invoices.” 

The government official also emphasised that, although the drop in revenue resulting from service provision contracts with other entities is not a responsibility that falls within the Government, "the situation is being duly monitored." 

Teresa Machado Luciano has not yet ruled out "anticipating payments to associations, which are currently made within 60 days, should this need be confirmed." A she added, "Humanitarian Associations of Volunteer Firefighters charged nearly 602 thousand Euros to the Autonomous Region of the Azores between January and March 2020." 

"Once this phase is over, the Regional Government will be ready to assess and discuss possible needs to support humanitarian associations arising from the pandemic containment measures," stressed the Regional Secretary. 


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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