Healthcare workers on Veluwe quitting over lack of protective gear, fear of Covid-19 infection

Healthcare workers at care institution WoonZorgUnie (WZU) on the Veluwe are quitting due to a lack of protective gear and fear of getting the coronavirus as a result. The center is seriously concerned about the safety of its staff. "There is a huge lack of personal protective equipment. Moreover, there is massive bureaucracy to test healthcare workers. In the meantime, the virus is spreading faster and faster, in our five residential care centers in particular," WZU manger Wim Martens said to De Stentor.

"You have a frustrated manager on the phone here," Martens said to the newspaper. "I now have 100 protective aprons. Ten percent of the order I had placed. To get through Easter I need a thousand. We can't get them."

"Our absenteeism, partly due to the lack of good protective equipment, is at 14 percent. This concerns 80 employees, including from our home care branch. They have proven or suspected symptoms of the coronavirus." Martens continued. "A number of employees have even resigned for fear of getting the virus. People who have a vulnerable partner at home and do not want to risk infecting them. Staff and of course our residents and their relatives are anxious."

According to Martens, the government promised to increase testing among healthcare workers, but this is happening extremely slowly. "The government made a commitment that employees in our sector can be tested for the Covid-19 virus from April 6. Despite that commitment, the truth is that we are faced with a huge lack of protective equipment and that we have to go through massive bureaucracy to test healthcare workers. It all takes too long," he said to the newspaper.