Comment: This will hit us hard

Comment: This will hit us hard

  • Shazia Majid
    Shazia Majid

    She writes on school, health, integration, finance and women’s issues. Follow on Twitter: @shaziamajid_

In Hospital: Should Hells-Norge get more money, not less?  asks VG's commentator (illustration).

Hospitals in Hells Sor-Ost will have fewer doctors and nurses. At the same time, there will be many more to treat. Here is the announced future.

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SymbolIt is an opinion. Comment expresses the writer’s position

It goes against all common sense that the nation’s largest healthcare company has decided that they don’t have fewer doctors and nurses.

Hell’s Sour-Oast provided it Long Term Economic Plan for the years 2024-2027. This shows that hospitals need to make money. They should provide a total profit of around 2 billion every year.

That means one thing: There will be cost cuts. And it will hit us hard.

3 million Norwegians belong to Hells Sour-Ost. We will be 400,000 in the coming years.

Also, Oslo University Hospital is the hospital of the whole country. It means that no one can influence what is to come.

To be closed: Ullevel Hospital, we know.

Impossible calculation

Here’s what’s coming: Significantly fewer hospital doctors and nurses will care for significantly more patients. At the same time The waiting time in hospitals will be reduced.

For example, by 2027 there will be a shortfall of 163 senior doctors. Biggest reduction for medical professionals. There will also be fewer nurses per patient.

Most of the cuts are at the top, if not in the administration and management of hospitals. There, 100 new people have been hired at the same time.

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More health workers and interns and pharmacy positions will also be hired.

The answer to this seemingly impossible calculation is obvious – doctors and nurses need to run faster. There is no hiding that either. In Helles Sør-Øst’s board papers, specifically for 2024, the productivity target is neatly laid out in the map above.

Doctors are very angry.

“That calculation doesn’t add up,” says Dr. Ida Ringerud NRK.

Doctors are justly cursed, says VG's commentator (illustrative image).

Danger to life and health

The plans come at a time when doctors have shared shocking stories of overworked doctors taking their own lives under the hashtag #LegerMåLeve. Ringerut’s friend and colleague took his own life.

In addition, we know that midwives and nurses escape public health because they do not accept working conditions as they are today.

Now they are expected to run even faster.

100 new health workers and 19 more interns will replace doctors and nurses. But will it last?

The lives and health of doctors and health workers cannot be the only ones at risk. Patient safety may also be at risk. Already today, detailed documentation shows some serious deviations in patient care in hospitals.

Patients are mistreated or not treated properly. Mostly because the workload is high and there are fewer people at work.

Protests: It has been decided to close Ulvel Hospital in Oslo.  There was massive protest from employees, professionals and politicians.  In return, two new hospitals will be built.  Agar and Nye Rikshospitalet.

Financially prudent

Shouldn’t we get paid more or less to get around Hells-Norge? Why should hospitals cut costs to make billions? Shouldn’t they just serve the people?

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Serving people is related to earning money. Healthcare institutions need money to build new hospitals and modernize their computer systems.

This happens through the state budget, grants and loans. But the hospitals themselves have to pay something.

By 2024, Hells Sour-Ost will need NOK 16 billion to implement its investment plans. Hospitals have to contribute less than two billion. They invest in their own future.

On paper, financial plans make sense. But this is not a question of money. The health sector needs modernization and efficiency if we are to tackle the enormous challenges that lie ahead.

By 2035, Oslo’s population will increase by 42 percent. Over the same period, the number of people over 80 will increase by 136 percent. The aging wave is here.

Also, rapid medical development has made it possible to treat more and more diseases over a longer period of time, resulting in us living longer. This requires hospital treatment.

CUTTING NEEDED: CEO Terje Roodeveld has a serious job ahead of him at Hell's Sour-Ost.

To be rebuilt

Norway will have a good healthcare system in the future. Not the best.

The Norwegian health system needs to be rebuilt. Most people understand that. Investments must be made in buildings and information technology – but there must also be investments in people. This is where it falls short – on several levels. Technically, there won’t be enough people in the future to care for all the sick and elderly.

However, the public health system is struggling to keep what few we have. Fewer people want to train as nurses and midwives.

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The impending cuts make the Norwegian healthcare system even less attractive – for staff and patients.

A very heavy responsibility rests on politicians and health authorities. We can’t give up until we find it. Life and health cannot be lost, where life and health must be saved.

Therefore, many statements and objections from patient groups and doctors, nurses and midwives should be taken very seriously. They are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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