A new day of protest is announced this Tuesday: that of professionals in the health care sector. This makes hospitals fear that they will run out of staff during the day. Some of them have therefore decided to initiate a “requisition” procedure. An exceptional measure which provides, in particular, for the intervention of the police to warn the workers concerned. This shocks many caregivers.
Two nurses, who prefer to remain anonymous, work for the CHC de Liège, a group of private hospitals. They declared themselves on strike. But for one of them, no demonstration on Tuesday, it will be compulsory work. “I went home and the police were waiting for me in front of my house, both in civilian clothes, to have me sign the requisition paper. Basically, they made it clear to us that if I didn’t sign it, I would be prosecuted. from a criminal point of view “, she explains.
When a private hospital fears it will not be able to provide care, it warns the governor of the province who sends the local police to serve the requisitions. In some towns, their method was a bit special. “One colleague in particular was very harassed by the police. She received, I believe, 7 or 8 visits to her home, about 15 calls in the middle of the night, at 2:30 a.m., with more voicemail messages. more insistent, even threatening. It looks like the Gestapo, it’s really manhunt “, says the other nurse.
“We had no choice”
At the CHU de Liège – this time a public hospital – the requisitions have just been initiated via the mayor of Liège. Despite the deprogramming of a whole series of operations, there are still 62 people lacking to provide the service. A first since the creation of the hospital in 1984. “We had no choice since this is the first time that we have had so many staff on strike”, notes Pierre Gillet, medical director at the CHU de Liège.
On strike for their status, for their salary… And even if some nurses are vaccinated, they do so to support colleagues. “I had my three doses but I find it unfair that we force people to be vaccinated on pain of dismissing them. It was really out of solidarity for my colleagues who will be fired overnight. We are already in shortage, it is already very complicated for us. And if, in addition, we still have colleagues who are fired, it will become inhuman conditions “, emphasizes the anonymous nurse.
This requisition procedure, very rare, is probably a turning point in the arm wrestling that has opposed for years the nursing staff to his successive ministers of health.