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Give up your holiday for a 40 000 SEK bonus

Publicerat tisdag 19 april 2011 kl 14.35
"It's a structural problem."
(4:19 min)
Photo: Scanpix. Montage: Sveriges Radio.

Could you imagine selling your summer holiday? To solve the urgent lack of staff over the summer, many county councils are now offering nurses a bonus if they give up their summer holiday.

Hospitals all over Sweden are suffering from a dire lack of summer substitute nurses. We're looking at around 18-20 spots and we've only filled one so far, says Laila Ljunggren at Nyköpings hospital. And if they can't fill their required amount, they might have to cut down on the amount of beds available for patients.

A lack of staff during the summer is nothing new. But there are indications that this summer will be even worse than last summer. To solve the problem nursing staff in many county councils all over Sweden are being offered a bonus instead of vacation.

In a survey done by the Set’s news program Rapport, 12 out of 21 county councils offers monetary bonuses to those who work instead of go on vacation. The amount of money varies between the different County councils.

7 counties offered no bonuses, and two councils had no decided yet.

Västmanland, which is just west from Stockholm offers the most, 40 000 crowns, approximately 6 000 dollars, to those who pass on their vacation. In Gävleborg the nurses had to make due with a 10 000 crowns bonus.

There is a deficit in nurses, partly because of a generational shift where many nurses are stepping in to retirement. But the problem is bigger than that says Ingrid Frisk, vice president for Vårdförbundet, the nurses union, and a midwife by profession.

One of the hospitals offering the bonus is looking for ten people and has filled five spots so far.

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