Healthcare Workers Threatened by COVID-19: Recognition and Compensation of Occupational Injury and Illness
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2019, millions of healthcare workers have been exposed to the risk of infection. Although the pandemic has not reached Taiwan in full, there has also been two episodes of nosocomial infection. This shows that a comprehensive protection for healthcare workers including paid sick leave should be contemplated for those working under high risk. This article first analyzes the different categories of employed doctors according to their employers, labor contracts, and whether they are protected by the labor standards act. Our analysis shows that doctors of different categories will receive different levels of payment if they are infected with COVID-19 at work. Secondly, we compared the regulations and practices of determining occupational infectious disease in Taiwan and different countries. We suggest that Taiwan should stratify healthcare workers according to levels of risk to introduce more specific standards for occupational infectious disease determination. The government should provide adequate legal protection for healthcare workers who are risking their lives battling the pandemic.