Dutch healthcare workers, bad COVID-19 working conditions


This 30 April 2020 video from London England says about itself:

Nurses block Westminster Bridge demanding proper PPE

Nurses at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s hospitals in London block Westminster Bridge on International Workers Memorial Day, in anger at the advice being given out by Public Health England on PPE, and the awful response of the government in supplying PPE.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio, 1 May 2020:

Fear among healthcare staff, ‘partly due to lack of PPE’

70 percent of nurses and carers experience more psychological stress than usual due to the corona crisis. The most common complaints are fatigue, uncertainty, stress and insomnia, reports the professional nurses’ association V&VN on the basis of a survey of more than 10,000 members.

More than half of the staff in nursing homes, district nurses and local nurses experience shortages of protective equipment, especially of mouth masks. A third feel pressure from managers … to provide good care without protection.

Last weekend, a survey by the trade union NU’91 showed that many nursing homes and home care agencies are struggling with shortages of protective equipment. The National PPE Consortium said yesterday that the PPE market has become a fighting market. That makes purchasing protective equipment complicated.

Trade union president Gerton Heyne calls the results of the survey “harrowing”. According to him, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty among the staff. “The question of whether they themselves pose a danger to their patients is haunting them. That is an enormous emotional burden.”

Two months after the first reported coronavirus infection in the Netherlands, 30 percent of the nurses and caregivers surveyed reported having corona-related complaints. Half of them started working with it, usually because of the absence of a fever.

Health authority guideline

The professional association also wants the national health authority (RIVM) guideline for the use of PPE outside the hospital to be amended.

“When caregivers come in to someone who is coughing and sneezing in a chair, according to the RIVM guideline they do not have to wear a mouth mask if they keep a distance of one and a half meters. But that guideline is based on scarcity,” said chairman Heyne in NOS Radio 1 Journal. “If there is enough protective equipment, then it should be made available.”

Hospitals and care homes are said now to have sufficient protective equipment, but Heyne doubts that. “If there are indeed sufficient resources, I can only conclude one thing: those resources may have arrived in the Netherlands, but have not yet been delivered to their destination. I call on the government and employers to ensure that they will arrive with nurses and carers.”

3 thoughts on “Dutch healthcare workers, bad COVID-19 working conditions

  1. Pingback: COVID-19 disaster in Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: COVID-19 crisis in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: COVID-19 disaster update, Boris Johnson’s Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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