Beshear’s proposed essential worker bonus could ease health care worker burnout, doctor says

Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – State leaders want to reward people working on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Gov. Andy Beshear is asking the General Assembly to use $400 million in federal funding to give bonuses to essential workers.

With many healthcare workers facing burnout, some believe Gov. Beshear’s proposal is the right move.

The governor proposed using $400 million in American Rescue Plan money to reward essential workers. It would pay bonuses to those who have worked through the pandemic dating back to March of 2020. Beshear said essential workers who could qualify include educators, first responders, grocery store employees, factory workers, and medical staff.

Dr. Jim Borders, president of the Lexington Medical Society, says the pandemic has put a lot of strain on health care workers, forcing some to quit.

“They’ve been beleaguered for a long time, and they certainly are under a good deal of stress to remain on the frontlines,” Dr. Borders said. “I think, at first, we were fed along by the adrenaline of the situation and sort of considering it an acute situation that wouldn’t last that long but, here we are now, 18-19 months into it, and a lot of burnout is possible. Sometimes, financial incentives can mitigate some of that burnout.”

Gov. Beshear said he would send his proposal to the General Assembly in the coming days. We’re waiting to hear from state Republican leadership to get their reaction.

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