Healthcare workers' health deteriorated 20% last year
Healthcare workers’ health deteriorated sharply last year, scoring nearly 20 percent lower than in 2020, according to ABN Amro’s annual Welfare Monitor. The other indicators measuring healthcare workers’ welfare also dropped, Het Financieele Dagblad reports.
The total well-being score of healthcare workers fell by 6 percent last year, according to the monitor. Work-life balance saw the sharpest decline at 23 percent, health dropped by 19 percent.
The development is reflected in the high absenteeism in the healthcare sector. Over 12 percent of workers were home sick for at least 20 days in 2021, partly due to the high workload and coronavirus infections.
“Due to the high work pressure and harsh working conditions, absenteeism and staff turnover are high. Then fewer staff members have to care for more and more patients, which further increases the pressure on the work floor. This, in turn, leads to more absenteeism due to illness, high turnover, and vacancies that are difficult to fill,” ABN Amro analyst David Bolscher explained the downward spiral the healthcare sector finds itself in.
According to Bolscher, the only way to break this spiral is to put the well-being of healthcare workers first. “We have to take care of the employees first, so to speak, and only then the patients.”
Minister Connie Helder for Long-term Care recently announced that she would allocate 1.5 billion euros over the next three years to increase healthcare workers’ job satisfaction and prevent an exodus from the sector.