Two major aid agencies have again warned of a nursing emergency – and some of them have already arrived. “It’s five to twelve now in terms of staff. The Red Cross is also looking at the current situation as tough,” Maria Catherina Moser, director of Dyaconi, told a news conference on Thursday.
In particular, Diaconi has called for a combination of fair-paid staff for those in the nursing profession and those in training. Moser says there are enough people interested in the nursing profession, but some will drop out of training because they can’t afford it. “We need proper care reform and we need it now.” The Diaconi director criticized that none of the original plans had been implemented so far, and that this was already the case with “followers of the Minister of Social Affairs”. Austria will need 80,000 to 100,000 additional nursing staff by 2030, so a staff strike is needed.
“Let’s imagine what would happen if many women and growing men stopped caring for children, caring for the elderly or helping people with disabilities. And yet the work of caring did not receive the social praise it deserved,” Moses criticized.
One barrier for those interested in nursing training is the lack of a central data point, as training and funding opportunities are different in the federal states. But the biggest factor is purchasing power. Some federal states will pay school fees, but the cost of living will still be a big problem. So a training salary of 1,500 to 1,700 euros per month is required, like police trainees. Nursing training is currently rarely possible, especially for career changers. An annual budget of 50 million euros will not be enough for this in the coming years.
In addition, Moses would like to see a change in the classification of nursing allowances. In addition to physical health, dementia in particular should be given more consideration. “Care is much more than just physical care. That means overall support and a high level of relationship work,” says Johannes Strasser, head of a care facility for the elderly. However, the work of this relationship is possible only with a consistent worker key.
According to Moser, in the case of long-term care, it is sometimes a bitter reality that beds have to be closed due to lack of staff.
The Austrian Red Cross (ORK) on Thursday called for a care reform. “We are in a supply crisis because of the published staff shortages,” WCC general secretary Michael Apresnig told a news conference in Vienna. As you stand with your back to the wall, a “quick course for the future” is essential.
Due to the Corona crisis, political decision-makers have failed to take and implement emergency care measures, Oppenig has complained. Now, more than two years after the epidemic, countless overworked or burned employees have resigned – the result of a hospital ward closure and a shortage of waiting staff for home nursing. “Staff shortages must be at the heart of care reform,” he said. Because by 2030 there will be a shortage of about 100,000 nursing staff.
The WCC general secretary called for investing in nursing and social work apprentices and scholarships and grants to attract young people and career changers. Skilled workers with professional experience should be given more opportunities for specialization and further training – Aprisnig believes that the additional qualifications acquired should also be recognized in financial terms and considered in the tariff structure. “Only through career prospects and financial support can nurses be enthusiastic about their profession in the long run,” the WCC general secretary confirmed.