State launches healthcare worker bonus program

State ready to start processing payments
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announces healthcare worker bonus program for frontline workers at a news conference
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 03: New York Governor Kathy Hochul announces healthcare worker bonus program for frontline workers at a news conference Photo credit Getty

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WBEN) Governor Kathy Hochul made good on a promise she originally made in January to provide bonuses to all healthcare workers involved in direct patient care.

The governor has announced bonuses of up to $3,000 dollars for eligible healthcare workers who make less than $125,000 annually and remain in their positions for at least six months.

You can see if you qualify here.

"They've been through a lot. I don't need to describe it any further," said Governor Hochul. "They did stay in. We've been hemorrhaging healthcare workers. We owe them more than just a debt of gratitude. We owe them a way to pay their debts."

The health care and mental hygiene worker bonus includes $1.3 billion allocated for the payment of recruitment and retention bonuses.

“We still need to keep these healthcare workers. They have been enticed to go to other states, they have traveling nurse opportunities which are much more lucrative so just as a sign of our gratitude but also just to lift their burden, we are going to continue those programs as well,” said the governor.

New York State is trying to expand the number of people in the healthcare field through a new scholarship program, which will require graduates to work in the state for at least two years after completing their education.

"That's how we continue to grow and sustain our workforce for the future," added Hochul.

Since March of 2020, the ranks of frontline health care workers have been depleted due to the Covid crisis. Many workers quit from burnout or were fired for refusing to get vaccinated.

Governor Hochul's goal to increase the state's health care workforce by 20 percent over the next five years. Currently, there are more than 9,000 healthcare job openings across the state.

Starting Aug. 3, employers can submit employees for the bonuses through the Health Care Worker Bonus portal.

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