Kavecka: Presov Hospital Relying on Army to Replace Outgoing Nurses

Head of the nurses trade union Monika Kavecka speaking to media earlier in January.

Bratislava, January 29 (TASR) – The Health Ministry has summoned members of the Armed Forces in order to address the shortage of nurses at Presov’s J.A. Reimann Faculty Hospital, TASR learnt from head of the nurses trade union Monika Kavecka on Friday afternoon.

“This decision proves that the Health Ministry has been risking a worsening in the health status of patients and has been misleading greatly when claiming that health care isn’t in peril and that it is capable of finding health-care personnel with proper qualifications within a short period of time,” said Kavecka.

While the ministry admits to having summoned members of the Armed Forces to the hospital, it insists that no ‘crisis mode’ is in place. “This is yet another lie on the part of representatives of nurses. Under no circumstances is this a crisis situation. Presov Hospital has requested assistance from the Armed Forces in the event of need so that it can make sure that even scheduled appointments are adhered to,” said ministry spokesman Peter Bubla.

A total of 39 nurses from the Armed Forces are to be placed in individual hospitals as required. Three such nurses have been placed at the hospital in Presov for some time already, said Bubla, who added that emergency health care at the hospital has never been and never will be jeopardised.

The ministry went on to take exception to what it called ‘alarmist’ reports by representatives of nurses, who have said that the provision of health care is in peril with respect to over a million people in Presov, Zilina and Trnava regions.

Around 600 nurses are poised to leave several hospitals as of February 1 as part of a mass resignation drive that was launched in late November in response to Parliament’s passing of a bill on their salaries.