27 Nov, 2022 @ 14:15
1 min read

What Spain needs to solve worrying shortage of nurses

A judge has ordered the Valencian Ministry of Health to compensate 150 Alicante health workers who did not have any proper PPE equipment in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alicante court says doctors, nurses, and health support staff are entitled to compensation amounts varying between €5,000 and €49,180 for 'personal and moral damages'. There has been no comment from the Valencian government or Health Ministry. It's presumed that an appeal will be launched against the ruling. The lawsuit was filed against the regional Health Ministry by the Sindicato Medico(Medical Union). It claimed compensation on behalf of 150 Alicante area members for the 'non-compliance' of the Ministry for not providing safety protection between March and May 2020. The Alicante court ruling obliges each worker to get €5,000 if 'they were forced to work without adequate protection elements'. The payout is €15,000 for 'each workers who had to go into isolation if they were in contact with anybody infected with COVID-19'. A €35,000 payment is ordered for any worker 'infected with COVID-19 but who did not require hospital admission'. Any health worker who did catch the coronavirus and was hospitalised will get the highest amount of €49,180. The Sindicato Medico says that it is pleased by the recognition the court has given its members and pointing out the 'negligent attitude towards health and safety' of health workers. Similar claims have been filed in other courts in the Valencian Community.
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Spain is battling a concerning shortage of nurses and experts in the field have pointed out what is needed to solve the crisis.

Spain is amid a nursing crisis and needs nearly 100,000 more employees in the field to match the European average, according to an alarming new report. 

According to the General Nursing Council, the Covid-19 pandemic, job abandonment, an ageing population and the search for better opportunities in neighbouring countries were all contributing factors to Spain’s nursing shortage. 

Fresh figures from the council also showed Spain needed 95,000 more nursing professionals employed across the country’s hospitals to match the European average. 

Spain has 625 nurses per 100,000 inhabitants, while the European average stands at 827, according to the data. 

Nurse Happy
Spain needs an extra 95,000 nurses as the country battles a shortage.

In Murcia there were just 463 nurses per 100,000 inhabitants, there were 529 in Andalucia and 551 in the Valencian community.

Within Europe, only Slovakia, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and Latvia are worse off.

Current nurses are overwhelmed as a result, causing them to march through the streets of Madrid in a series of protests in the past few years. 

National Association of Nursing and Vaccines spokesman Jose Antonio Forcada called it a ‘structural deficit’ the country has been ‘dragging for many years’. 

“Primary care structures have not adapted, nor have those of hospitals, to the needs that have been increasing,” he said. 

“On the other hand the population is getting older and more care is required. All these needs have been increasing, but the number of nursing positions has not and is increasingly unbalanced.”

Forcada said the first step to ending the nursing crisis was to train more nurses.


Anthony Piovesan

Anthony joins the Olive Press from Australia, where he worked as a journalist for six years. He reported for country and suburban newspapers, before becoming a political correspondent for News Corp.

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