The coronavirus measures preventing new admissions and the excess mortality that has come about largely as a result of the pandemic have left a large number of rooms empty in Flemish care homes.
In order to keep the region’s care homes afloat the Flemish Government has decided that it will extend what is known as the “Continuity Guarantee” until the end of this year. It had been due to end on 31 March. The Continuity Guarantee is made up of two parts. The first part covers the basic compensation given by the state to pay for residential care 100%. The second part compensates the care home for 70% of the daily charge payable by a car home resident.
While the basic compensation is covered until 31 December, the 70% compensation of the daily charge will only be covered until 31 July.
The Continuity Guarantee can cover no more than 20% of the official capacity of a given care home. Furthermore, the care homes must promise not to reduce staffing numbers if they want to receive public money through the Continuity Guarantee.
Investment will also be made in temporary employment with students, temporary nursing staff, carers, psychologists, logistics staff and other to be given short term contracts during the period from 1 April to 30 September.
Mr Beke says that this is so as to ensure that those working at the region’s care homes will be able to take some well-earned leave and use up some of the overtime they have built up over the past year.