Several healthcare organizations find the rules on the use of mouth masks by hospital staff "confusing and unsafe".

They argue in an open letter on Saturday for clearer and stricter guidelines for the use of medical mouth masks.

The organizations advocate on behalf of hospital employees for the continuous wearing of medical masks.

Exceptions should only be possible if healthcare professionals themselves consider it necessary and responsible.

"Because you have to do everything you can to keep the risk of contamination of healthcare professionals and patients as small as possible", write V&VN, FNV Zorg & Welzijn, NU'91, CNV Zorg & Welzijn, FBZ and Patients Federation Nederland.

Their request is addressed to the sector organizations NVZ and NFU, which represent the hospitals in the country.

The current policy, whereby it depends on the situation whether hospital staff wear a mouth mask, according to the healthcare organizations cannot be explained.

Patients would feel unsafe seeing employees without protective equipment.

It can no longer be due to mouth mask shortages, write the authors of the letter.

"Because, according to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the warehouses are full of protective equipment. Even when mouth masks are used preventively."