Hospital staff strike: ‘Because it really is no longer possible’

Photo credit: Studio040/Collin Beijk

Staff of a large number of hospitals in Brabant have left normal work from eight o’clock on Thursday. The strike action will last 24 hours. Employees demand better pay, better agreements on schedules and better compensation for on-call services. In most of the hospitals, Sunday services are run, which means that only care in the emergency department continues.

Care for admitted patients will also continue. How many departments participate differs per hospital. Patients who had an appointment before Thursday that cannot take place have been informed in advance, according to hospitals.

Staff from hospital Bernhoven, Jeroen Bosch, Elkerliek, Anna, Maxima MC, Amphia and Bravis are participating in the strike. The strikes take place in the hospitals, there are speeches and employees sit demonstratively on the floor to show how their employers’ organisation, the Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ), lthat they mean business.

‘It’s really not possible anymore’

Hospital staff have already gone on strike before. Staff of the Amphia Hospital in Breda, for example, blocked the entrance to the hospital three times by sitting down. That happened in February but did not lead to an agreement between the parties. Thursday’s actions are a follow-up to put more pressure on.

Nurse Jessica Swijnenburg is one of the people who is campaigning on Thursday. She is finding it increasingly difficult to pay her bills, a problem that also plays a role with her colleagues at the Amphia Hospital in Breda. She is campaigning for a higher salary and better travel allowance: “Because it’s really not possible anymore.”

Health insurers

The trade unions demand more wages than the NVZ offers. They also want a higher fee for on-call services and better arrangements on schedules.

Ad Melkert, chairman of the NVZ, wants the Ministry of Health and the health insurers to contribute money to increase wages. Hospitals say they can’t afford the pay rise. Minister Kuipers said at the end of February that he is not heeding Melkert’s call.


Source: Omroep Brabant

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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