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Thousands of extra nurses needed to prevent unsafe situations

The average Belgian nurse now has to take care of 9.4 patients on average, while internationally 8 patients per nurse is accepted as the norm.  According to the Federal Knowledge Centre for Health Care Belgium will need thousands of new nurses.

Over the past decade the number of nurses in Belgium did increase and more and more possess a BA in nursing. Despite good efforts more are needed. The report reveals that nurses are increasingly unable to provide essential care due to time restraints.  Research at Antwerp University revealed that half of all unexpected hospital deaths are linked to nurse shortages.

One in three nurses says that during his last shift he was unable to observe patients properly or change their position to prevent bed sores.  70% indicate there is no time to talk or console patients. Work pressure means a quarter of nurses are unhappy in the job.  A full ten percent are considering leaving.

The centre wants lawmakers to establish a maximum number of patients per nurse.  In order to prevent unsafe conditions 1,629 extra full-time nurses are urgently needed.  More means are required too. 5,500 extra full-time nurses are needed over the next five years requiring 403 million euros in extra funding.

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