Algarve "short of 350 nurses"

While the state health service lacks nurses across the board, the situation in the Algarve has reached crunch-point.
There is a lack of at least 350 nurses throughout the region, says left wing party Bloco de Esquerda (BE), and it is time to pro-actively start recruiting.
Presenting the government with a draft resolution earlier this week, BE claims the country is experiencing a paradox.
Although the state health service needs more nurses, many professionals are either unemployed or working for “low salaries with job instability”.
“Nurses currently employed are overworked, while temporary contracts become more common, either through employment agencies, or ‘recibos verdes’ (Portugal’s unpopular system for freelance workers which sees them heavily penalised compared to salaried workers).”
The dilemma has prompted many nurses to leave the country, says BE. “Around one third of those who finished their college education in Portugal studying nursing are believed to have already left the country,” the party contended.
A study by the Portuguese Order of Nurses shows that lack of jobs is the main reason nurses emigrate. Other issues centre on lack of career progression opportunities and much higher salaries offered in other countries, including the UK, where many Portuguese nurses currently work in state and private sector hospitals.
According to BE, “Portugal has a long way to go” and must “improve accessibility” to the health system if it wants to keep its nurses.