The nurses union has been complaining about working conditions for months. | Satse

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A survey by the Satse nurses union reveals a high level of stress among Balearic public health staff. Almost three-quarters of nurses say that they experience stress, while 43% consider that they are burnt out and 60% are emotionally drained.

Although these findings are slightly better than in the rest of Spain, working conditions in the Balearics do not provide a positive perception. Jorge Tera, the union's secretary in the Balearics, says that working conditions are poor and that staffing levels are insufficient. The consequence is a deterioration in the quality of care.

A comparison has been drawn with the situation in 2012. Tera explains that economic crisis added to stress levels and other symptoms and also affected care. More than 80% of nurses in the Balearics believe that their working conditions have worsened (this is compared with almost 90% nationwide). This has been because of health service cutbacks. A similar percentage consider that staffing levels are deficient, while 78% are of the opinion that the working environment has deteriorated in the past five years.

Tera wants there to be greater labour stability through new offers of jobs. There are some 3,500 nurses with regular positions but up to 1,500 who are temporary. Some of these have been working under "unstable" conditions for some fifteen years.

The union also wants a reduction in the working week to 35 from 37.5 hours, a special system of retirement and guarantees of more secure working environments. Tera adds: "We all know that there have been more assaults on health professionals and that there are greater occupational risks because of a lack of bio-security and the handling of dangerous drugs."