There are currently more than a thousand public health workers off due to COVID in Andalucia, as hospitalisations are on the rise and health clinics are full to breaking point.
The Andalucia branch of the Trade Union of Nursing, Satse, has warned of the increasing numbers of health workers who have needed to take time off work after becoming infected with COVID-19. Now 17,247 medical professionals are known to have had the virus.
According to data from December 27, a total of 986 public health workers were off work due to COVID, around 30% of whom were nurses. These absences have caused “serious problems” for the provision of basic health services due to “the disastrous planning of the Andalucian Health Service,” stated Satse.
Between December 10 and 27, the number of health professionals in Andalucia infected with COVID increased by a total of 1,242. The province with the greatest increase was Málaga (301 cases), followed by Seville (227), Cádiz (197), Granada (162), Córdoba (117), Huelva (113), Almería (66) and Jaén (59).
The highest rates of infection are among nurses and physiotherapists, as they have the most direct contact with patients. This leads to significant difficulties with providing basic everyday medical services, something unforeseen and unplanned for by the Andalucian Health Service, who got rid of 3,300 nursing workers on November 1.
Satse has reminded the regional government of the importance of ensuring that health workers have access to the personal protection equipment that is needed to guarantee their safety, and have insisted on strict compliance with prevention and control measures regarding spaces, capacities, uses of protective equipment and ventilation at health centres.
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