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Opinion/Editorial: Caring for the carers

Opinion/Editorial: Caring for the carers

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In another effort to counteract staffing shortages, the University of Virginia Medical Center plans to spend more than $30 million in merit raises now and pay rate increases in the next fiscal year.

Now is “probably the hardest part of the pandemic for health care providers…,” CEO Wendy Horton said. “It’s not just the COVID patients you’re taking care of today; it’s the 18 months you’ve been doing it. The stress is just compounded over time.”

Frankly, Horton admits, UVa “may have been behind the market for some time” in its compensation to staff.

All employees will receive a merit boost — “we need to do something for our people right away,” Horton said — and about 40% will have their pay rates adjusted again in the next fiscal year to better match market conditions.

This dual move is dually important.

It’s morally right to reward employees for working above and beyond the normal call of duty over the past 18 months, and to pay them what the market calls for.

But those moves will help patients as well, by combatting personnel shortages that might affect the quality of care.

Kudos to UVa for making these provisions.

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