Unemployment fund has found 500 new carers and nurses

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The Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) office on Tartu's Vaksali Street, Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) has identified 500 people from its database who are willing to go to nursing homes and hospitals to help as carers or nurses. Approximately 30 of them started on the job this week.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund has mapped its database and found 500 people who are ready, already have the basic skills need and are able to go to work in health care institutions which have staff shortages.

Unemployment Insurance Fund communications expert Lauri Kool said: "Hospitals' main concerns are that experienced nurses need help, but they are difficult to find. Some hospitals have moved experienced nurses to difficult patients and are putting younger people on easier work."

"It can be seen that the problem is more acute in nursing homes," Kool added. "The situation is complicated primarily because many workers are self-isolated."

The Unemployment Insurance Fund is inviting health care institutions in need of help to speak to their local department to see if workers can be found. People who feel willing and able to work in healthcare are also welcome to put themselves forward.

In cooperation with Valga and Pärnu vocational education centers, there are plans to create a quick online course for carers.

Currently, the need for assistance varies greatly from region to region. The labor shortage is mainly in Tallinn and Harju County, Ida-Viru County and Tartu.

There have been several outbreaks of coronavirus in care homes and an increase of patients hospitalized in recent weeks and additional help is needed at healthcare and care institutions. However, even before the pandemic began both of these sectors were experiencing staff shortages which have now been exacerbated.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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