06. 06. 12. - 13:23
Row over care for the elderly staff
A heated row has broken out with criticism of the Consumer and Social Affairs Minister Rudolf Hundstorfer from within his own party.
The criticism centres around the controversial red white red card designs to give access to specialists who would normally not be eligible to gain jobs in Austria if they are from certain professions where there is regarded to be a serious shortage.
The list of professions regarded as urgently needing professionals to fill them from outside of the existing labour marketplace includes pipe fitter and machine-tool maker – but according to Salzburg's deputy mayor Martin Panosch (SPÖ), the list of 25 should have been extended to include care assistants.
He said he was surprised to see that the was no mention at all of any option to recruit people from non-EU countries that might have experience in providing care.
He said: "We are all in the same boat in that we don't have any idea now where care staff are going to come from. Neither the qualified staff all the general care assistants that are desperately needed are included on the list and for me that is just not understandable."
He said that it wasn't just Austria that were suffering but right across Europe because of the increasing numbers of elderly the was a massive shortage in care personnel.
Minister Hundstorfer however said the debate about the problem was unnecessary. He said there was still time to include qualified care personnel in the list and as far as he was concerned unqualified personnel were not in any short supply.