37% of nurses have had Covid-19 symptoms, says union

SATSE believes healthcare workers have faced pandemic 'without protection in first weeks, without rest and without enough support'

A nurse preparing a rapid test on October 21, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons)
A nurse preparing a rapid test on October 21, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 20, 2021 01:08 PM

Almost four in ten nurses have had Covid-19 symptoms, according to a survey carried out by the trade union SATSE.

According to them, 37.08% of the 11,645 people who took part in the study across Spain believe that they might have developed the disease because they have experience symptoms compatible with the pandemic.

In a statement published on Wednesday, the union complained about it, saying that this is evidence that nurses have faced Covid-19 at work "without protection in the first weeks, without rest and without enough support."

SATSE said that nurses have been available to be on the front line of the pandemic ever since its first outbreak.

"They were for a long time and they still are the link between those ill and their beloved ones, and their only company and support when facing the consequences of the disease in all aspects, including the physical, psychological and emotional."

The paper, according to SATSE, includes work overload and tension as other issues experienced by nurses.   

Spain has far fewer primary care physicians per inhabitant than other European countries. According to Amnesty International, for every 1,000 residents, Spain has 0.77 primary care doctors compared to Portugal’s 2.6, Ireland’s 1.82, the Netherlands’ 1.61, Austria’s 1.56, and France’s 1.42—the proportion of nurses is even smaller: 0.66 for every thousand people.

Indeed, the human rights organization said in February 2021 that the mismanagement of the healthcare system, and primary care services in particular, already under strain and chronically underfunded, has compounded the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.

"The primary care system in Spain suffered two pandemics: Covid-19 and healthcare management, which suffered from a lack of planning and funding to deal with the pandemic, leaving it between abandonment and its dismantling," read the press release.