The social and health system will survive this summer despite staff shortages, Minister of Family and Social Affairs Who is Linden (SDP) told Yle on Wednesday.
He noted that many municipalities have had serious difficulty finding enough temporary workers to replace full-time staff during the summer holidays.
"For the most part, it works; the care system has not collapsed. The total number of hospital staff is sufficient to support" Lindén said on Yle Radio 1’s Ykkösaam.
The care gap is still the worst in 15 years, Lindén said, adding that 10,000 to 15,000 more carers are needed. The minister, the doctor himself, said he was most concerned about caring for the elderly.
"If you have to queue for more than a month for a small operation, it may not be that long in a person’s life. But yes, care for the elderly must be in order at all times.
According to Lindén, the number of nursing staff has not decreased, but has increased in recent years, but the number does not keep pace with the need for care.
Work-based immigration does not solve the problem
According to Lindén "all stones must be turned" address labor and social shortages in the social and health sectors. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health launched a project earlier this year to address the situation.
According to Lindén, there are several alternative solutions, such as reorganizing work, developing technology, improving work culture and management, and increasing training places.
Lindén does not see work-based immigration as a savior in the care sector.
"I don’t see it as an easy solution or an important solution," he said.
Lindén said it will take years to address the labor shortage in the care sector.
Contractual disputes continue in the social and health sectors. The ban on overtime and shift work in the private social sector began on Tuesday, and negotiations are still ongoing in the municipal sector.
"All labor disputes have been resolved over time. I hope there are solutions here too. I urge the various parties to find a solution," Linden called.
A new Covid wave in late summer?
According to Lindén, the coronavirus situation is good given the circumstances. Among other indicators, the need for hospitalization and deaths have declined in recent weeks.
Last Thursday, when THL last updated its statistics, there were 351 patients in hospital due to Covid disease, 13 of whom were in intensive care.
The death toll was 4,771. This includes patients with Covid whose main cause of death may have been some other illness.
There have been warnings this summer of a possible new wave of infection, but according to Lindén, there are no indications yet, although the number of confirmed infections has increased slightly.
"I think it’s more likely to happen in August-September," Linden predicted.
Lindén has been the second health minister since February, overseeing Covid affairs, among other things. He shares the health portfolio with the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen (Left).
Source: The Nordic Page