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A decision to evacuate a department at Sahlgrenska is causing concern


After ten years with employees who became ill from staying in the premises for thoracic surgery at Sahlgrenska, the hospital management has now decided that the department should be evacuated to another department. A move that, according to the trade union, can involve risks to patient safety and longer waiting times.

Cardiac and lung surgery are performed at thoracic surgery at Sahlgrenska. Since 2009, some 30 employees have become ill from staying on the premises.

Now, following a ban on fines from the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the hospital management has made a decision to move the business to another department. A move that, according to the municipal representative, can have consequences for other operations.

- There is a risk that the operations that are now being performed in the premises to which the thoracic surgery will move will not be able to conduct its operations in the spring of 2020, which can lead to longer queues for patients to be operated in, for example, urology and gynecology, says Hans Ekström, representative of union union Municipal at Sahlgrenska. It can also affect patient safety if there is a longer distance to the intensive care unit.

Guarantees safety

Göran Matejka, Deputy Hospital Director, does not agree that there would be any risk to patients or that other operations would be adversely affected by the move.

- My assessment is that there is no risk, if any indications of risks emerge in the future work, we will deal with it. We guarantee that both patients and relatives can feel completely safe with the care they receive, he says. The work environment of the employees will also be kept at a good level during the move, but it is clear that this will entail a type of burden.

Exactly how the move will go, when it will happen and what the consequences will be are issues that management now works with. By June 2020, the relocation of thoracic surgery should be complete, it is not the hospital must pay SEK 5 million in fine.

- Now we have made this orientation decision and which we believe will hold, says Göran Matejka.

Source: svt

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