There has been temporary hiring since the start of the pandemic. | Miquel À. Cañellas

A year on from the pandemic having been declared by the World Health Organization, the Satse nursing union has denounced the continuing structural and financial problems facing the National Health System. These problems meant that there was a lack of preparedness for dealing with the crisis. Negative repercussions for the health of the public and health personnel were the consequence.

The union argues that regional and national authorities have been adopting short-term measures but have not been addressing the multiple underlying deficiencies which led last year to issues such as a lack of human resources. A clear example of the "chronic" deficit in staffing levels is that there are at present some 2,500 unemployed nurses. "Moreover, various administrations limited themselves to temporary hiring after the start of the pandemic rather than adopting solutions such as promoting the return to Spain of nurses from abroad."

The serious problem of precariousness facing nurses in Spain continues. The European Union has again warned the government about this and has demanded solutions in order to receive European funds for mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

Satse is calling for primary care and intensive care to be strengthened. "We are aware that we are still immersed in the pandemic, but we are not seeing progress towards fulfilling the general commitment by all political parties to prioritising the improvement and strengthening of the health system in the future."