SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – An increasing number of healthcare workers are leaving their permanent jobs and becoming freelancers because they are fed up with red tape and the pressure of work, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.
In the first nine months of this year, over 10,000 nurses and other care workers registered themselves as self-employed at chambers of trade – a rise of 20% on last year, the paper said.
This, however, is causing problems for hospitals who are faced with higher wage costs and structural staff shortages, which is putting pressure on remaining staff. Earlier this week it emerged that the Slotervaart hospital in Amsterdam is facing bankruptcy, partly due to rising wage costs.
In specialist units at the hospital, some 50% of the staff were hired in via agencies. The Volkskrant says that the cost of hiring in external hospital staff rose by 17% last year. In the care of the elderly sector, the rise was 16.4%.
The pay rates for independent nurses and care workers has risen up to 12% since last year because there is so much demand, nursing organisations told the paper. Agency costs and value added tax also have to be added to the total bill.
Lex Tabak, joint director of SoloPartners, an agency that represents some 8,500 freelance care workers, told the paper that a ‘silent revolution’ is underway. ‘People are taking control themselves.
They will no longer put up with the way their daily routine has become so far removed from providing good nursing care,’ he said. (DutchNews)