“Any effort has its limits,” warn the country’s hospital federations (Gibbis, Santhea, Unessa and Zorgnet-Icuro) on Thursday, while hospitals have received a letter asking them to increase their reception capacity. Creating additional places is one thing, it is still necessary to have the staff to supervise them, they stress, while asking for stricter containment measures.
“We are counting on 300 additional beds for the whole country, intended for patients who do not need specific intensive care ventilators but who still require more care than in normal services”, explains the director to Belga. general of the Dutch-speaking Zorgnet-Icuro dome, Margot Cloet, confirming information from the Standaard. “This is an intermediate form of nursing, motivated by the high rate of hospitalizations. “
“At the rate of the current progression of Covid-19 admissions, our reception capacity in intensive care will be exceeded within a week to 10 days”, alert the federations of the country. “We will then be forced to make choices. This patient will be optimally taken care of rather than another. “
The letter sent to Belgian hospitals recalls the ethical principles, established during the first wave, to be followed in order to prioritize care for hospitalized patients, adds Margot Cloet. “These guidelines should ensure that each patient receives the treatment they need at their level. Those with a less favorable prognosis must also receive the necessary support, ”according to Marc Geboers, director of the general hospitals of Zorgnet-Icuro.
Welcoming hospital patients in nursing and care homes or in temporary infrastructure erected on car parks is not everything. It is still necessary to have the staff to take care of them, remind the federations.
High absence rate
However, hospitals record an absence rate of 20% to 30% in teams, or even peaks of 40%, point out Gibbis, Santhea, Unessa and Zorgnet-Icuro. Not to mention the risk of burnout, which threatens after a first wave already trying for caregivers.
For the federations, the saturation of hospitals “promises to be inevitable”. They therefore call on the federal government to strengthen the current containment measures to try to stop the “infernal spiral” of contaminations, deaths and admissions.