Monday, May 17

Nurses require Health to purge data on social infections to subtract those of health workers

Professionals from the ICU of the General Hospital of Elche. | ANTONIO AMORÓS

The Nursing Union (Satse) has asked the Ministry of Health to review all the positives in coronavirus among health professionals who have been classified, from March to the present, as infections of social origin and not of work origin. The union wants to know how many of these cases have occurred in the work environment, even if it is during meals or during rest periods in the hospital or health center. In such a case they should have been regarded as infections of labor and non-social origin, as confirmed to this newspaper Francisco Martinez, the regional head of Occupational Health and Prevention of Occupational Risks of the Satse union, after interviewing last Wednesday with the regional head of the area to warn her of the irregularity in which Health could incur due to a classification that, to date, they have not followed most of the Occupational Risk Prevention Services of the Health Departments of the Valencian Community. In fact, the contagion was only considered to have a work-related origin due to a work accident when it came from direct contact with a patient who had tested positive for coronavirus. But, starting this week, the Department will stop counting as contagions of social origin those suffered by health workers when they are gathered, resting or eating in the rooms set up in their work centers. A controversial issue that has come to light as a result of the two outbreaks that have infected 25 nurses and aides of Traumatology and Oncology of the General University Hospital of Elda.

The review now requested by the Sat must include the 4,491 professionals health workers who have been infected with coronavirus in the Valencia Community since the pandemic began until last November 13. The group most affected has been precisely the nursing staff with 1,535 positives in covid-19, followed by physicians with 1,259 infected, the TCAE professionals – formerly called nursing assistants – with 803 infected, the administrative staff with 262 cases, the guards with 250 positives, the technicians with 139 infected and the rest of the non-health and health personnel of the public system with 155 and 88 positive respectively. Considering these infections of labor origin implies admitting failures in the personnel protection system and also entails labor consequences. In the case of public hospitals, the withdrawal, if it is recognized as a work accident, affects retirement benefits and compensation in the event of suffering sequelae from covid-19. It is worse for private health professionals because, if the contagion is considered social and not occupational, lose 25% of salary for the duration of the leave.

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