A plan announced back in August to provide a one-time 5,000-euro bonus for medical staff at UMCG has been formally approved.
Translation by Traci White
National news broadcaster NOS reports that the works council for the teaching hospital has granted permission to give 700 employees a one-time bonus of 5,000 euros. Employees will be eligible for the bonus on the condition that they agree to work at the hospital for at least three years.
The bonuses are intended for surgical support staff such as operating theatre assistants, anaesthetists, and intensive care nurses. Like many other teaching hospitals, UMCG is currently struggling to recruit medical specialists. The ongoing shortage led the hospital to announce in July that four operation theatres would remain closed through the end of 2018. A number of hospital beds have also been taken out of the normal rotations due to lack of staff to provide adequate care.
Although the works council has given the green light to move ahead with the plan, they stressed that the “loyalty bonus” was not a long term solution. The council is calling on the directors of the hospital to look into why specialists choose to work at other hospitals and to adopt other measures to tackle the persistent staff shortage.
Bonuses and staff shortages
UMCG is currently recruiting and training more staff, including up to 25 percent more future employees for paediatrics, to fill the open positions, as well as enacting other measures to retain their current staff.
In June, Martini Hospital issued a one-time bonus to staff in recognition of their hard work during the flu epidemic last winter. The lack of qualified staff accepting positions at hospitals in the north also played a role in the plans to close to obstetrics and paediatrics departments at two other regional hospitals: Bethesda in Hoogeveen and Refaja in Stadskanaal.