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Costa del Sol Hospital Laboratory Faces Shocking Staff Shortage: A Crisis Unfolding!

February 29, 2024
Costa del Sol Hospital Laboratory Faces Shocking Staff Shortage: A Crisis Unfolding! - mini1 1706658365 - Health and Safety - Costa del Sol Hospital

Staff Shortage at Marbella’s Costa del Sol Hospital Laboratory Unit

The CSIF union has raised concerns about the situation arising from the staff shortage in the Laboratory Unit of the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella. In a letter to the management, they detail the “difficult situation” that the Laboratory Specialist Technicians (TEL) face daily due to poor hiring and “exhausted by the excessive workload”.

Union Calls Staffing Situation in the Unit “Brutal”

The union considers the understaffing in this unit to be “brutal”, which has put these professionals in “a critical situation”. They also point out that the reinforcements that occasionally occur in the TEL staff “gradually disappear due to lack of renewal”. This situation extends to all departments of the service, which require a “minimum and essential” structural reinforcement of professionals to ensure normal operation and decent working conditions in the unit.

Need for Additional Staff in Each Department

CSIF estimates that the incorporation of one more worker per shift in each of the Laboratory departments is necessary. On one hand, in Emergencies, where there are currently three per shift and which has been understaffed since last November. On the other hand, in Routine, with two or three understaffed per shift since September, leading to the service having to be closed due to lack of staff; and in the classification department, where two workers per shift have proven to be clearly insufficient to meet demand.

Overload Situation in Hematology, Urine and Biochemistry Departments

Similarly, the situation of “overload is unsustainable” in the Hematology, Urine and Biochemistry departments, especially in the afternoon shift, with only one worker; as well as in Molecular Biology, where CSIF demands that the third TEL per shift be reinstated, which has been understaffed for months. The situation is repeated in the reception of sowing and in Microbiology, which since last November “only has one worker per shift due to the second being understaffed due to lack of hiring, despite the workload being unmanageable for a single technician”.

Need to Properly Staff the Blood Bank Service

The union also points out the “urgent need” to properly staff the Blood Bank service with at least fixed Laboratory Specialist Technicians specifically qualified for this department and “to banish the usual practice of ‘patching’ the understaffed with emergency personnel, as is happening especially on night shifts, weekends and holidays”.

Poor Management of the Unit

In CSIF’s opinion, there is a fundamental problem in this unit that responds to the “disastrous management by those responsible for the Area direction and the supervision of the Clinical Analysis Service, who prioritize economic criteria over care”, and who conceive the professional “as a mere piece that they squeeze to the maximum”. The union denounces that the workers of the Laboratory Unit of the Costa del Sol Hospital directly bear the “neglect and lack of empathy and respect on the part of middle managers, who make each shift an endless uphill struggle”.

Unhealthy Work Environment and Lack of Work-Life Balance

The difficult work environment and excessive workload are compounded by the inability to achieve work-life balance and the “lack of response” from those responsible for problems and inconveniences during the work shift. The union denounces that it is an “unhealthy work environment, which has significant repercussions on the health of professionals”.

CSIF’s Demands to Address the Situation

To address this situation, CSIF has demanded that an evaluation of the positions be carried out so that the functions of each professional are clearly delimited and recorded in writing. In addition, the union reminds workers that they are not obliged to double shift or cover absences caused by lack of foresight or hiring, so it warns that it will not tolerate any kind of abuse in this regard. It has also demanded in its letter to the hospital management that the provisions of labor regulations be complied with and that the licenses, permits and vacations of workers be respected, which are often harmed by the lack of staff to assign them.

CSIF’s Call for Fair Work Schedules and Respect for Workers’ Rights

CSIF has also demanded that work schedules be provided in a timely and proper manner to allow workers to have the right to reconcile their work and family life, as well as to do so fairly. Finally, CSIF points out that this reality affects the entire staff of Laboratory Technicians, which is due to poor management by middle managers and the lack of necessary hiring to cover all the positions required by this service, and warns that it will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure decent working conditions in this hospital center, abandoned by the SAS.

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