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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

On Nurses Day, Struggles Continue for Better Conditions Amid Unfulfilled Promises


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By Global News Service


International Nurses Day was celebrated on May 12, yet despite commitments made during the pandemic, there has been no notable improvement in workers’ rights and working conditions in public health systems.


Today, there is a global shortage of 6 million nurses, with almost 90 percent of this shortage concentrated in low- and middle-income countries. Paradoxically, in the same countries facing the worst shortages, there are also hundreds of unemployed nurses unable to find decent jobs with decent pay, according to the union Public Services International.


These countries also passed new fiscal rules, meaning that they will have to cut their budgets by €100 billion a year starting from 2025.


“These measures mean that many countries will potentially have to cut nurses and other care workers, further contributing to workforce shortages in the sector,” the European Public Services Union stated.


Poor working conditions are also leading to high rates of leaving the profession and burnout.

In 2021/2022, nurses in Canada accumulated 26 million hours of overtime. According to a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions this year, 16 percent did not use any vacation time. This translated into high reported levels of burnout—as many as nine out of 10 nurses said they were experiencing some degree of burnout—and a decline in the quality of care. Reflecting on the previous year, 56 percent of nurses observed a decline of this sort.


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