Emergency medical service constantly short-staffed in Latvia

There are 250 vacancies in the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) that have long been free. After the load of the Covid-19 pandemic, employees who have reached retirement pensions do not want to continue, Liene Cipule, head of the NMPD, told the Latvian Television broadcast “Morning Panorama” on December 30.

Cipule expressed concern about the shortage of team leaders and second medical practitioners in order to be able to complete the optimal three employees on one team. A big support is provided by medical students who need mentors to prepare.

Similarly, problems are present at the NMPD Operational Management Centre, whose employees are prepared only by the service itself. Therefore, increasing the capacity of the call center cannot quickly be done at all. Moreover, the last few years, including the Covid-19 pandemic time, have been very difficult for these employees.

“As a result, those who have planned to retire are doing this now and it is not possible to convince them to stay in work for longer,” Cipule added.

She stressed the remuneration policy as the hindering aspect so that appropriate staff could be attracted to the NMPD. For full-time work, the doctor's assistant and team leader receive €1,300 before tax, which Cipule estimated was insufficient.

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