The Nursing Shortage Is Worsening – 5 min

Published on May 11, 2024, 09:41
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5 min


Many nursing staff are already overworked.

Many nursing staff are already overworked.

On Care Day on 12 May, the Confederation of Austrian Trade Unions draws attention to the shortcomings in the care system. According to the ÖGB, there will be a shortage of 200,000 nursing workers by 2050.

Van Gerrit Tsheru

2 minutes reading time(356 words)

The Austrian care system is at risk – not since yesterday. Two maintenance reforms have been announced in recent years to address the shortcomings. However, according to the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB), both were implemented so poorly that most nurses have not noticed any progress to date. The consequences are long wait times for mobile services at home, closed beds in nursing homes and hospitals, and professionals leaving the nursing profession early.

Services are like “marathon without training plan”.

“At this rate we won’t finish it,” he says Katarzyna Resch, qualified health and nursing assistant and speaker at the Union – Team Health at the Vienna Health Association. He compares the grueling work of round-the-clock shifts to running a marathon seven days a week without a proper training plan. A gradual reduction in working hours should be implemented immediately to achieve the goal of professional and humane efficiency for employees.

In some cases, adequate maintenance is no longer possible

Further Gerald Mjka, a task force member at the VIDA union in the health sector, is calling on politicians to take action. Statutory staffing ratios are required to guarantee good care. The overload is already noticeable, not only for the staff but also for those who need care. Medicines are administered late and the critically ill and dying cannot receive adequate care.

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Unequal treatment in grants

Additionally, according to the ÖGB press release, this lack of funding is not evenly distributed, with some not benefiting from the “mini-improvements” of recent years. In the disabled category, only 50 per cent of the employees, despite doing the same job, received maintenance allowance. Grant linked to training; However, people with various training qualifications can work in the field of disability after completing the training module “Support to Basic Care” (UBV). Ultimately, according to the ÖGB, the nursing profession is hard work, but it is still not legally held. The rules for accessing the Hard Work Pension are so strict that very few people in the care sector are entitled to it.

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