Around 88% of nurses at the Vila Franca de Xira Hospital (HVFX) in Lisbon went on strike in the morning to demand career development and working conditions, according to the Portuguese Nurses’ Union (SEP).
The strike, which covers the morning and afternoon, was decided in plenary session by the workers, who consider it essential to create working conditions in order to “attract and retain nurses and respond” to what they consider to be the needs of the HVFX.
“The main demands that nurses have is to hire [more professionals], because they have violent working hours, a lot of overtime, a lot of patients in their care, a lot of holidays owed and they need rest, time for their families, just like everyone else,” Isabel Barbosa, from the SEP, told Lusa.
According to the union leader, the nurses at HVFX also want better working conditions and career development, “namely all the points for progression”.
“In other words, that all years of service are counted towards progression and that added skills are valued, particularly in the case of specialist nurses, who do not automatically move up to the specialist category,” he added.
Isabel Barbosa pointed out that “unfortunately nurses have not been properly recognized and there are problems in Vila Franca that are transversal to the profession”.
“Nurses are dissatisfied with a career that doesn’t value them, with salaries that are insufficient, with specialties that aren’t recognized, with skills and years that aren’t recognized, with excessive hours, with the degradation of services, with a lack of material, and this can only be solved by investing in the National Health Service and valuing its professionals,” he stressed.
According to the trade unionist, if these demands are not met, the HVFX nurses will continue “to take all necessary action”.
The Vila Franca de Xira Hospital has around 500 nurses, according to the SEP.