Overtime strike by nurses prompts closure of some departments, beds

By TPN/Lusa, in World · 05-07-2018 14:22:00 · 0 Comments

An indefinite national overtime strike by nurses in Portugal’s national health service has prompted the closure of the gastroenterology department at Porto’s central hospital and of beds in internal medicine, the Order of Nurses has said.

According to a separate statement released by the Independent Nursing Professionals Union late on Tuesday, the action also caused 27 beds in the general surgery department to be closed.
Meanwhile, an official for Porto’s Centro Hospitalar de São João denied the comments from the Order of Nurses, saying late on Tuesday that the gastroenterology department “is functioning”, but that “confinement [of the department’s patients] may have changed location”.
In Lisbon’s Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Ocidental, the overtime strike led to the closure of some rooms in the surgical wing, while beds may also be closed in the in-patient ward.

In the capital’s Centro Hospitalar Lisboa-Central, the union reported that nurses were seen to be working 40-hour weeks - instead of the 35-hour week that is now the legal limit - as well as overtime shifts being included in nurses’ regular working hours, which is illegal; there were also threats of disciplinary proceedings, with nurses being called into the nursing director.
There were various other hospitals around the country where nurses were still being asked to work 40-hour weeks, the union reported.
Nurses are on an overtime strike that began when the 35-hour work week was officially introduced. Unions have demanded that more staff be taken on to offset the change.
Last week Portugal’s Arbitration Tribunal ruled that the skeleton services required during the strike by nurses and diagnostic technicians covered surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and all other health care that the doctor in the case classified as urgent.


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