Three out of ten professionals in the state health network of Rio de Janeiro are away from their duties after being infected by the omicron variant of the coronavirus. In the municipal network, about 20% of professionals in the area are on leave for having contracted the disease.
With the lack of employees and crowded emergencies, all elective surgeries of the state and municipal networks will be suspended for 30 days from Monday (14).
“They are asking people from other shifts to come. It’s just that: you come and you won’t have a break afterwards. There’s no overtime, there’s nothing,” said an employee at the Emergency Care Unit (UPA) in Comendador Soares, in Nova Iguaçu, in the Baixada Fluminense region.
The report on the lack of professionals in health units is repeated in other cities in the state. According to an employee at the Azevedo Lima State Hospital, in Niterói, in the Metropolitan Region, information about infected people grows every day.
“It goes from one to the other. It goes by. So, there are few employees. Today, my colleagues are working there with fever and news has come that there are already three who are not going to work today because they have Covid”, he said.
The vice president of the doctors union, Valeska Holst, said that the employees are overworked since 2020.
“This disrupts the entire work process of a series of other diseases, because people don’t stop getting sick from other things at the same time (…) These professionals have already been suffering this workload since 2020 and they are exhausted. The services are overloaded and this is leading to consequences, to the loss of quality of these services”, said Holst.
See the situation in other cities
in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, from December to the first half of January, 5,500 health professionals were removed by covid. THE Nursing Union says that the leave among professionals in the category reaches 20% in capital.
“The lack of professionals in the health units and the dismantling of these services has been going on for a long time, with frequent complaints by the entities, but unfortunately there is no solution on the part of the governments. Then, at a time of explosion of cases like these of Covid, the health situation gets worse “, said the president of the Nurses’ Union, Mônica Armada.
the city hall of Duke of Caxias, in Baixada Fluminense, estimates that 20% of health professionals are on leave due to covid.
In purple Belford, 25% of nursing technicians are out, 12% are nurses and 3% are doctors.
In Nova Iguaçu and Sao Goncalo, the percentage is still low: no more than 5%.
Rio’s Municipal Health Department said it hired 1,600 professionals at the beginning of the year to reinforce service and that all employees – who show symptoms or test positive – are removed and isolated.
The State Department of Health said that it is trying to reduce the impact of the lack of professionals and that it will provide more details in the coming days.
The direction of Hospital Azevedo Lima denied that infected employees are working and recommends that employees, who show symptoms or test positive, be removed.