Chamber of Deputies Approves Measures To Improve Support For Long-Term Patients and Carers
An amendment to the Sickness Insurance Act, approved this week by the Chamber of Deputies, should improve access to support for the long-term sick and those who care for them. The amendment will also extend paternity leave for new fathers, and make it more flexible in the case that the baby has to remain in hospital. Photo Credit: Cssd.cz.
Czech Rep., Jul 30 (BD) – The Chamber of Deputies has this week approved an amendment to the Sickness Insurance Act, which expands access to financial support for the long-term sick and their primary carers. Eligibility requirements for hospitalised patients have been loosened, and the permitted window for applying for this support after patients leave hospital has been extended.
“This mainly concerns people who are in the final stages of their lives, and it is in the interest of all of us that these people can, if possible, be at home and in the company of their family,”said Jana Maláčová (CSSD), Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.
The amendment also widened the circle of relatives who can be considered primary carers and receive the long-term nursing allowance.“It will no longer apply only to those who live in the same household, but close relatives who will take care of the patient will also be able to receive support,” said Maláčová.
The Chamber of Deputies also approved an extension of paternity leave to two weeks, from the current one week. Furthermore, if the newborn baby is hospitalized during the first 6 weeks of its life, the father can choose to delay his paternity leave. According to Jana Maláčová, the amendment relates to cases where the child is in an incubator and the father in practice does not come into contact with his child, meaning he can now take leave when the mother and the child come home from the hospital.
If the changes are approved by the Senate and signed by the President, they will take effect on January 1st, 2022.