St. Anna’s psychiatric ward on the verge of disaster

The St. Anna Hospital in Geldrop is anxiously looking for two psychiatrists to join their staff before the end of December.

“There is no talk of closing the PAAZ (General Hospital’s Psychiatric Department) yet, but now that fewer psychiatric patients can stay with us, we have to consider the worst-case scenario.” This is according to the hospital’s spokeswoman. The Sint Anna has three psychiatrists on staff, but in a few days, the first one leaves. At the end of December, the second one will also leave.

“We can still step up our recruitment efforts of two new doctors. It also often happens that, at the last moment, we find the required staff”, she said. However, the Geldrop hospital admits that the labour market is tight. Hiring freelancers can be a partial solution, but the hospital also needs a new Head of Department. The Board at St. Anna Hospital wants their personnel to be permanently employed.

Tight labour market

The GGZE (Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care) in Eindhoven confirms that the job market is tight: “We do not have a shortage, but we solve this, in part, with freelancers. We would, however, prefer that everyone be in permanent positions”. De Grote Beek Health Center has substantially more psychiatrists. Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven says it currently has sufficient practitioners in their PAAZ. The same applies to the Maxima Medisch Centrum (Maxima Medical Centre) in Veldhoven.

The shortage in the labour market is not a regional problem. The GGZE’s spokesman says there is a significant shortage of psychiatrists nationwide. It is especially difficult to employ new staff at GGZ institutions. One reason for this is that more and more psychiatrists cannot handle the stress and heavy workload. They, therefore, do not want to be in paid employment. Only, freelancers are more expensive, and so, the care also becomes more costly.

Fewer beds

The St. Anna Hospital in Geldrop is, however, still searching. There will, however, be consequences if they have not found any new psychiatrists by 1 January, 2019. Sint Anna patients will then be referred to other hospitals in the region. This concerns people who are actually admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric department. The outpatient clinic will remain open.


Translated by: Bob

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