Every morning HUS Akuten has patients waiting more than a day to receive care. The queuing problem is found in all departments, but especially in primary care departments.
The longest anyone has waited in the emergency room for follow-up care this week is 73 hours.
– When primary care doesn’t take in those waiting in the emergency room, that road stops too, says HUS Akuten’s director of operations Maarat Kastrine.
The perceived staffing shortage has been a problem that has been around for more than a year, but Kastryn says she has seen little improvement in how the situation has changed since the fall.
Many patients are stuck in the emergency room waiting for follow-up care
The regional administration has given note to HUS for its long care lines, and lack of aftercare spaces.
“The overload on demand, increased workload and extended lead time largely reflect the problems and pressure on the whole service system,” stated the Head of the Social and Health Care Supervision Unit, Nina Vakivainenfrom the Southern Finland Regional Administration, in a press release.
The fact that patients remain on call when they actually go to another department creates a vicious cycle on the call because they have to take care of patients who really shouldn’t be their responsibility.
– We received a reprimand from the regional administration because we did not have enough staff. this is not true. We have enough staff to handle our mission i.e. medical care for patients for 4-6 hours. We shouldn’t have to take care of patients who need follow-up care, Kasterin says.
Possible fines on care waiting lists
– You can charge fines here and there, but if there are no staff available, it doesn’t mean the HUS is doing a bad job. It is very difficult to get employees. Then you have to resort to other solutions, Castrin says.
The HUS board decided, among other things, that the share of nurses should not be increased and that community caregivers should take on more duties. This summer, the ED also hired more inexperienced replacements than usual.
– Experienced nurses should do their work, but they will also have to train and lead those who do not have the same amount of experience or are still studying, says Castrin.
The fact that there is a shortage of healthcare workers is not a local or national problem. According to Castrin, it is a problem with the health care system as a whole globally, and that it is difficult to fill the nursing jobs that are needed everywhere.
“There’s not a lot you can do when legislation requires a nurse to get a job, but then no nurse applies for the job,” Castrin says.
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