The nurses ’strike, which began on Friday morning, could lead to serious delays in medical care, chief physicians in the six major hospital districts affected by the march have estimated. They say work can endanger the lives and health of patients and even lead to loss of life.
Trade unions have negotiated with management for legally authorized skeletal personnel to cover urgent and urgent care – but some hospital district authorities say staffing levels may be insufficient to protect patients during a strike.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said on Thursday afternoon that it was preparing legislation to ensure adequate first aid.
"This is a temporary law that would in a way even restrict the right to strike, which is a fundamental right. Therefore, the government must urgently submit this bill to Parliament and MPs must discuss it before the law can enter into force." Kirsi Varhilathe chief of staff of the ministry told Yle.
The law may come into force next week
The bill would allow management to assign striking nurses to urgent work, but only as a last resort, if the guarantees under the current law are not sufficient to ensure patient safety, the ministry said.
Varhila said the law will take at least a week to take effect. It could only be introduced once the effects of the strike begin to become clear.
"We hope, of course, that there is sufficient emergency care and that there is no need for separate regulation," he said. A wider strike could take effect in two weeks.
Chief of Staff: Patient safety is always at risk due to lack of staff
Millaikka Rytkönenthe chairman of one of the organizations leading the strike, the Social and Health Care Union (Tehy), said he was confused by concerns about patient safety expressed by chief doctors.
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"I have not seen the lack of nurses on the part of the same gentlemen who are now expressing their concern about the labor struggle of nurses, which is perfectly legal." Rytkönen said.
According to Rytkönen, the strike warning was filed and negotiations on emergency care were conducted in accordance with the law. He pointed out that employers had four weeks to prepare for the situation.
According to Rytkönen, patient safety is at risk every day, even during normal times, because there are too few nurses due to low salaries in the industry.
Source: The Nordic Page