The number of medical staff on leave or in quarantine has tripled since Christmas in the Valencian Community

With more than 3,500 staff out of service, Health will pay overtime to workers who want to extend their working hours

The saturation suffered by hospitals and health centres due to the heavy load of patients infected by Covid-19 is not only due to limitations on space. The health staff who provide the care to those needing treatment or hospitalisation have to endure their own new casualties of colleagues every day, as infections among their numbers also increase.

Since Christmas the number of specialists (especially nurses, assistants and doctors) who are of service, either because they have an illness due to contracting the virus, or because they must quarantine after being in close contact, has tripled.

According to the figures provided by the Ministry of Health, last Friday, January 15 – the latest update available – 1,560 health workers were registered as being on sick leave due to Covid and 2,018 were in quarantine.

In total, 3,578 professionals are out of service, which represents 5.62% of the 63,691 workers that make up the public health network and triple the 1,532 that were unavailable on Christmas Eve. In fact, between December 24 and January 15, 1,639 new infections have been recorded among health personnel, which represents 22.38% of the 7,323 positives registered since the start of the pandemic.

To alleviate the work overload, the Ministry of Health has now agreed with the unions that it will pay overtime to staff (primarily nurses) who, on a voluntary basis, want to extend their working hours to cover services as much as possible, given that it is very difficult to take on new staff as the personnel are not available.