Antonio Resines, who knows something about spending time in an ICU, recently made some statements that went viral: «There is a very serious problem (...) a lot of people are in precarious conditions (...) nobody has permanent contracts. But people who have been working in the same hospital for 20 years and people of an amazing level. Public health needs an injection of money, and there is money. And if there is not, they should remove it from other sites, because it is essential.
They corroborate it in the ICU of the Guadalajara hospital, where they describe an "unsustainable" work situation, in which the pandemic "has simply been the last straw that has filled the camel's back." "We work with a great pressure on care, in conditions that are maintained and that are not suitable for the patient," summarizes an employee who prefers to remain anonymous.
Before the coronavirus, the Guadalajara ICU had ten beds for a province with more than 260,000 inhabitants. However, in the worst moments of the pandemic, hospital management recalls that there were 42 critically ill patients and the staff increased from 23 to around 90 nurses.
«The ICU needs professionals who know how to handle a critical patient and the staff, in a large percentage, is not experienced. Nursing's problem is that specialties are not recognized. Just as in Medicine we are clear that an ophthalmologist cannot act as a pediatrician, in Nursing the unions do not fight for that specialization, "explains this worker.
The Guadalajara hospital has just turned 40 and the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha is "perfectly aware of the need to provide the ICU with more surface area and new spaces." The regional president, Emiliano García-Page, assured that the transfer to the new hospital would begin on April 23, but this has not been the case.
The management published a statement in which it blamed not meeting the deadlines due to the supply crisis due to the war in Ukraine and the legal challenges of companies that aspire to public tenders for the supply of equipment. And since then no new date has been given. Health professionals are unaware of any information about it: "We know what we hear in the media." On the other hand, the management affirms that "they have always tried to go hand in hand" and that everyone who has wanted "has been invited" to "a visit".
What does not seem to change are temporary contracts, a common practice of the Public Administration, which renews them without the worker enjoying vacation periods. The ABC source says that it has already signed nine since March 2020. “It is totally legal if they add the tagline ‘due to service needs’ or because it is ‘an exceptional situation’. But why are there service needs? Because the templates are decimated, because we always go to the limit of work », he exposes. The management argues that the "chaining of contracts" is "really positive", since "although the pressure has decreased we still have the professionals".
It should be noted that critically ill patients with coronavirus have decreased and, despite this, the level of care "has increased a lot." «I do not know if it is because Primary Care is saturated, patients arrive very ill. And that is something that we did not see before, ”says who sees it in the first person.
Finally, there are also "many partners" in psychological care. “And then you get it, but they keep putting pressure on you and they call you on days off to go to work because there is no staff. I can assume this the first year, but we are going for the third summer of the pandemic », she laments. Management denies this, citing the program to address the mental impact of covid on both professionals and patients and families. And, above all, it emphasizes that "under no circumstances is the professional forced" to work on his days off.