The Ministry of Health intends to reduce surgical waiting lists by opening operating theaters in the afternoons, for which it resorts to ‘peonadas’ or overtime outside the usual working day, which are offered voluntarily to medical staff and nursing. This measure, according to the calculations of this department, will involve a disbursement of five million euros this year.

This is reflected in the draft of the order to which Ical had access and that the Ministry of Health presented to the union organizations in the Sectorial Table. This is the proposal of the department of Alejandro Vázquez to meet the objective of reducing the wait to be operated on in the Community, after the increase in the list as a result of the suspensions derived from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this way, Health offers unions to support this extraordinary measure, in response to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis in hospitals, so that professionals voluntarily accept “permanence” and “availability” until 31 December of this year.

The maximum amounts for each full afternoon will be 320.4 euros for specialist graduates and 213.2 euros for nursing. In addition, it will be paid for productivity, without it being possible to prorate it for periods of less than four hours and without generating any right to another type of compensation.

The sessions that take place in the afternoon will not count within the established ordinary working day, although said schedule will be considered for the purpose of not exceeding the maximum duration of 48 hours of effective work per week, respecting the rest regimen established by current regulations. . However, Health will not exempt from carrying out the ordinary day the next day if it is a working day.

This measure, according to the plan designed by Health, will be applied in the first place if there is availability of resources – operating rooms, beds, equipment or personnel – to attend to the additional activity, and based on the number of patients on the scheduled waiting list, with priority for the most numerous pathologies, patients with longer waiting times and patients whose pathologies are covered by the Royal Decree on maximum times.

With this, the Ministry of Health hopes to achieve in the second half of the year the objective set by the President of the Board, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, who called for a “forceful” plan to reduce at least the average delay by 21 days within a period of six months.