Crisis in the health sector: Impact on nurses’ working conditions

Alberto Granero-Lázaro, Josep M. Blanch-Ribas, Juan Francisco Roldán-Merino, Jordi Torralbas-Ortega, Ana María Escayola-Maranges

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13 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier España, S.L.U. In a context of economic crisis and policies to reduce the public deficit, the budgets of the Catalan Health Institute (CHI) were cut by 15.33% between 2010 and 2014. Objective To assess the perceived impact on nurses’ work conditions of measures to contain health spending. Method The study design was descriptive and transversal. A sample of 1,760 nurses from the province of Barcelona answered a questionnaire on the perceived impact of health spending containment measures implemented in their workplace during the early years of the crisis. Results Among the main aspects of the perceived impact of these measures, 86.6% of the nurses identified a pay cut and an increase in the following relevant parameters of their working conditions: number of hours worked (66.7%), final ratio of treated patients (35.2%), task complexity and workload (75.3%), rotation through various departments (31.5%), work shifts (21.4%) or work areas (23.4%), job insecurity (58.4%) and loss of employment by dismissal (6.6%) or non-renewal of contract (9%). Conclusions The perceived impact of the crisis showed a triple negative component: Pay cut, work overload and job insecurity. As a combined effect of this multiple trend, the nurses acknowledged a deterioration in their working conditions and quality of working life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
JournalEnfermeria Clinica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Nurses
  • Personnel turnover
  • Quality of life
  • Salaries and fringe benefits
  • Working conditions
  • Workload


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