Osakidetza has assured that the Basque Country Superior Court of Justice (TSJPV) has established that the lack of personal protective equipment for its personnel during the covid-19 pandemic has been “punctual and limited in time” and that its management to the provision of material cannot be described as “neither insufficient nor unlawful”.
Osakidetza has released a note after the ESK union reported today that the TSJPV had resolved in a ruling that the Basque Health Service failed to comply with regulations on the prevention of occupational hazards during the coronavirus health crisis and that the lack of EPI posed “a serious and imminent occupational risk” for the health of its workers.
“The court classifies such a circumstance as punctual and limited in time and affirms that the management carried out by Osakidetza in relation to the provision of protection material to its professionals during the crisis cannot be classified as insufficient or unlawful,” insured in the Basque Health Service.
It also adds that the TSJPV has rejected “practically all” of the requests made by the plaintiff union in the field of occupational risk prevention during the pandemic, although it does partially estimate the one referring to the supply of personal protective equipment.
However, Osakidetza clarifies that the TSJPV does not condemn him to pay the compensation demanded by the union and that he only dictates that the “appropriate measures for the protection of the personnel at his service” be taken, something that the Basque Health Service maintains that “it is being done” with “strict observance of occupational risk prevention measures”.
Osakidetza adds that the ruling acknowledges that in January of this year, before the first cases occurred in the Basque Country, preventive and epidemiological actions had been initiated and that since March information was provided to the unions on the evolution of the pandemic , the contagions between professionals and on the provision of PPE and who gave “intensive” training on the occupational risks of the covid-19.
The Basque Health Service recalls that the resolution of the Social Chamber, which is not firm, recognizes that PCR tests have been carried out on 75.1% of the workforce and serological tests on 87.3%, and that the percentage of positive covid among its workers is 6%, equating to the average for the Basque population which is 5%.
Finally, Osakidetza has reiterated his commitment to continuous improvement in the prevention and protection of his workers, something that “has been, is and will continue to be one of his absolute priorities.”