Nurses at National Hospital Walk Out at Midnight Skip to content

Nurses at National Hospital Walk Out at Midnight

Surgical and anesthesia nurses at the National Hospital of Iceland announced yesterday that they will proceed with their plan of resigning on May 1 and walk out of the hospital at midnight tonight. The hospital is preparing for an emergency.

The hospital’s roentgen (X-ray) technicians announced today that they will also resign at midnight, reports.

“I hope the nurses realize the responsibility they are taking with their actions,” Björn Zoëga, one of two acting directors at the hospital, told Fréttabladid.

Zoëga added that it was a great disappointment that the nurses had decided to resign after the directors of the hospital had announced they would delay the new shift arrangement, which the nurses were dissatisfied with, by five months.

Vigdís Árnadóttir, shop steward in the surgical department, said delaying the changes to the shift arrangement is only postponing the problem.

When the nurses quit working at midnight the hospital’s emergency plan will take affect. The other acting director of the hospital, Anna Stefánsdóttir, said it was too early to say how the nurses’ actions would affect the hospital’s operations.

The emergency plan is not quite finished yet and will be presented later today, Stefánsdóttir added.

The two directors of the National Hospital met yesterday with Minister of Health Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson and Lára Scheving Thorsteinsson, a representative of the surgeon general.

After the meeting the minister said the directors of all hospitals in the vicinity of Reykjavík as well as the hospital in Akureyri have declared their intentions to assist the National Hospital as much as possible.

Thorsteinsson said the new shift arrangement does not jeopardize patient safety as the nurses have claimed. “However, walking out of the hospital does jeopardize patient safety,” she added.

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