A new monthly bonus of €100 net is to be given to intensive care nurses from January, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced.
The bonus will be paid to some 24,000 people, Mr Castex said during a visit to the intensive care unit at the Centre hospitalier intercommunal de Créteil.
“These services demand a qualification, a level of technical competence which is very high and the difficulty of this task impacts the attractiveness of these services,” he added.
“This is [...] an indispensable acknowledgement of the services of which we obviously have great need, more than ever, during the current crisis which we are navigating with the arrival of the Omicron variant.”
The prime minister added that this decision follows the findings of a report by the Inspection générale des affaires sociales, which he will present next week.
This report suggests that between now and 2030, the number of intensive care beds required across French hospitals could rise by 1,000.
It also stresses a need to “recognise financially” the specific nature of intensive care nursing, and to integrate a grounding in the challenges of this field into nursing courses.
In response to Mr Castex’s announcement, France’s Fédération nationale des infirmiers de réanimation (FNIR) intensive care nursing association said that “a bonus is not enough” but that it “thanked” the government for “this first step.”
“Healthcare workers need an improvement in their everyday working conditions,” the FNIR added, calling for a staffing structure which would allow for one nurse for every two intensive care beds.