Anesthesiologists at Tartu University Hospital have refused to work overtime as of the beginning of June, leading the hospital to postpone a number of operations.
High workloads were highlighted at the time of the medical personnel strike eight months ago, but according to ERR radio, most hospitals have failed to find solutions.
The problem is especially acute during summer, when most people hope to use their vacation time.
“Our staff have come to a common decision that we cannot carry on at the same pace with the same conditions and we are currently forgoing overtime,” said Jaan Sütt, a representative of the anesthesiologists, adding that they are asking to be paid on a different basis for out-of-office hours compared to regular work hours.
The hospital employs 40 anesthesiologists, who work a total of 1,500 hours more than contractually obligated each month.
Professor Joel Starkopf, who heads the Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Clinic at the hospital, said they have had to postpone ten operations so far.
Starkopf said they are seeking two new anesthesiologists to alleviate the situation, adding that they are also holding talks with current anesthesiologists.