Doctors' assistants want to help with Covid vaccinations but GGD won't call back
Thousands of doctors' assistants who indicated they wanted to help with the Covid-19 vaccination campaign have not received a response from municipal health service GGD. Despite the GGD needing six thousand more people to help carry out the national vaccination process, assistants are rarely called to help because the health service prefers to hire people through temporary employment agencies, Parool reported.
The Dutch association of doctor's assistants (NVDA) said it has been actively recruiting people who wanted to contribute to the healthcare system since December. Almost five thousand people expressed interest to help administer the vaccines and their details were shared with GGD offices. The NVDA later conducted research among a thousand of them to find out whether they have been approached to fill a vacancy. It turned out that more than three-quarters of the volunteers never heard from the GGD.
According to GGD West-Brabant chair Annemieke van der Zijden many of the GGDs preferred to hire people through temporary employment to ensure they would not need to pay employment benefits in the future. Additionally, they prefer to have people available to work at least 16 to 24 hours a week, which is often not the case with doctor’s assistants.
”If we were to employ people, we would have to continue to pay unemployment benefits when we no longer need people. Temporary employment agencies can handle that principle much better," said Van der Zijden. The organization has filled seven thousand vacancies of 13 thousand needed for the vaccination program.
At the same time, RIVM vaccination program leader Jaap van Delden said he was happy with the current progress of the vaccination campaign. He said he was hopeful the pace would improve even further. In the coming period, the injection capacity at the GGDs should rise to 2 million injections per week.
Preparations for this task were also going well, according to Van Delden. But there was a 'frustrating uncertainty' regarding the delayed delivery of the Janssen Vaccine.
He said the vaccination coverage is highest among people between 80 and 84 years. Nearly 82 percent of them have now received two injections and almost 90 percent a first injection, ANP reported.
Van Delden will be stepping down from the position of Covid-19 vaccination program director at the public health agency RIVM in about a month.