The chronic lack of nurses within CHUA (the university hospital centre of the Algarve) has led to a new drive to (try and) attract nurses from neighbouring Spain.
Nursing director Mariana Santos explains that notwithstanding new hirings powered by the current hospital board, they simply haven’t been enough.
“We have protocols with universities in Andalusia, and have already received some requests for information on the contractual process. As soon as candidates show they are willing to come, their details will go to the Order of Nurses for a certificate of competences to be drawn up (allowing them to work in Portugal)”.
But even this “might not be enough”, she admitted – telling Ana Rita Cavaco of the Order of Nurses during a visit this week that CHUA is hoping the government will green-light the possibility of offering financial incentives.
“If it was an incentive of €500-€600 it would already be good. We would also like to see support offered for accommodation for any nurses coming from far away”, she said.
Syndicate leaders however are sceptical. For a start Spain itself is suffering a shortage of nurses. Why would trained professionals seek to leave their own country under such circumstances – particularly when conditions in Portugal are “far from optimal”.
This is a country that “does not give nurses good conditions”, Guadalupe Simões of the Syndicate of Nurses reiterates.
A lot have already left the profession because of this, she tells Correio da Manhã – reminding the paper that only a few weeks ago, 65 of CHUA’s 72 exhausted nurses presented a declaration of “excuse from responsibility”, alleging deficitary working conditions were going to lead to them making mistakes (click here).