Judge finds 2 tons of covid money too much for medical microbiologists

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The Jeroen Bosch Hospital does not have to pay seven medical microbiologists 200,000 euros each because of the hospital’s extra income as a result of the corona pandemic. But it is also not the case that the medical microbiologists do not have to receive any compensation for the extra care provided. This is stated by the subdistrict court after a joint request from the doctor-microbiologists and the hospital to pass judgment on the matter.

Old appointment

There was an old agreement between the medical microbiologists, all of whom are employed, and the Board of Directors of the Jeroen Bosch Hospital: a third of the extra income resulting from uninsured care is paid annually on top of the regular salary. This included care as a result of an outbreak. In normal years, the amount of that extra income was approximately between 17,000 and 22,000 euros per medical microbiologist.

In the autumn of 2020 it became clear that the JBZ expected to make a total profit of approximately 4 million euros on corona tests carried out for the GGDs. This would equate to a reimbursement of approximately 200,000 euros per medical microbiologist. The JHA did not consider such a large fee reasonable and took the position that such a size had never been taken into account when making the agreements and that a pandemic was not covered by the agreements.

Non negotiable

The JBZ wanted to pay the microbiologists 25,000 euros each for both 2020 and 2021 (so 50,000 euros in total) for the uninsured care – including the non-covid-19-related uninsured care, which in those two years was actually lower than normal. But the medical microbiologists found this undiscussable.

The subdistrict court states that, contrary to what the hospital claims, the covid-19 pandemic does indeed fall under the agreements made earlier about the distribution of the extra income.

Nevertheless, the subdistrict court ruled that the art microbiologists are not entitled to full payment of one third of the extra income. The subdistrict court finds that this would be unreasonable and unfair. One of the reasons for this is that agreements were made at the outset between the Bossche Specialisten Coöperatie, of which the medical microbiologists are also members, and the JBZ about the financial consequences of the pandemic. The doctors within the JBZ were not allowed to benefit or deteriorate financially. After all, some specialists would have extra income as a result of the pandemic, while others had less income due to scaled-down care.

Extra hours

In addition, the subdistrict court takes into account that the covid-19 diagnostics is a highly automated process and that extra income did not mean that there was also extra work.

Nevertheless, the court also does not think that the medical microbiologists should not receive any compensation for the uninsured covid-19 care. This is partly because, unlike the self-employed specialists, they have not been compensated in any other way by the JBZ for the extra hours worked.

The court will not rule on the amount that the JBZ must pay to the medical microbiologists. To do that, they just have to sit around the table again.

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