Due to an ongoing SAS pilot strike in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, Nordland Hospital in north Norway has had push back some elective operations.
“The ongoing strike has led to further challenges, and we have therefore had to reduce some elective operations, both surgeries and outpatient clinics,” the acting HR manager at Nordland Hospital, Kari Brumoen Råstad, told public broadcaster NRK on Monday.
An elective operation is a planned non-urgent procedure, as opposed to emergency and acute operations.
The state administrator in Troms og Finnmark, Helse Nord, the county doctor and the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision held a meeting on Monday to discuss the consequences of the SAS strike on the health service in the region.
The strike has led to staffing problems for health services in the north as visiting doctors cannot get to work, and employees on vacation have been left stranded, meaning other staff are not allowed to holiday until staff numbers are replenished.
Nordland hospital is on “yellow alert” due to a staffing situation concerning holiday cancellations, vacancies, a persistently increased sickness absence and hospitalisations due to Covid.
Similarly, the University Hospital of North Norway has told the state administrator for Troms og Finnmark that they may be forced to reduce intensive care capacity due to the strike.
The Norwegian Board of Health said it would report to the government on the effects of the strike.
“We follow the situation with regard to the health service’s ability to ensure life and health as we always do in connection with legal labour disputes. We have planned to report to the Ministry of Health and Care Services tomorrow before the end of the working day,” the health board told NRK on Monday.
The government recently ended an air technician strike over public health concerns and forced parties to a wage mediation board when the strike action threatened to ground air ambulances in the north.
It currently isn’t clear whether the Norwegian government would be willing to end the ongoing SAS strike.