Healthcare organizations in the Netherlands are making an urgent call for extra hands to ease the pressure on the health system. 

“The situation is not tenable for much longer,” a spokesperson for elderly care ActiZ tells AD. The healthcare industry is pleading for people with and without a healthcare background to register to work during the crisis. Students studying medicine or nursing are also urged to get involved.

Those who haven’t been in the industry recently, or who have no experience in healthcare, can take a one-week crash course designed to teach them essential skills to work in the industry.

Nursing homes are under particular stress, although the pandemic is already pushing hospitals to a breaking point.

Less support in the second wave

At the start of the pandemic in March, thousands of former care workers came forward to help. The website was set up to register all the potential workers. Over 20,000 participants came forward in the first wave.

However, in the second wave, there is much less enthusiasm, a spokesperson tells AD. “Between March and June, we introduced nearly 8,000 people to a healthcare organization. Only about 2,500 people this autumn indicated that they are available.”

Healthcare organizations hope that staff from industries that are struggling, such as hotels, catering, and travel, will register to help.


“All support is welcome”

Moral support from society has also faded since the first wave, says Hans Huizer, chairman of the board of the Rotterdam elderly care organization Laurens.

“Our nursing homes were overloaded with fruit baskets, cakes and performances,” he tells AD. “Now it is quiet, right when our employees need all the support. Tired of fighting, they are at the front every day to fight this crisis for all of us. Right now, all support is welcome.”

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