Health minister denies age bar on hospital beds, problems with masks confirmed

Belgian health minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) has said that everybody is getting the care they require.  The minister was fielding questions about the ethical guidelines regarding who gets a hospital bed in the Belgian parliament.

Only on the basis of medical grounds are doctors allowed to decide certain treatments are not appropriate.  Such issues also need to be discussed with the patient and his or her family.  Such decisions are never taken on the basis of age or handicap Ms De Block assured lawmakers.

The minister added: “I really hope we will draw the right conclusions from this crisis with regard to the fragmentation of our health care that has led to tragedies like this.  It’s really necessary.”

Minister De Backer, who is heading the corona taskforce, has confirmed that the three million facemasks supplied last week are not FFP2 masks that provide greater protection.  “It’s a big setback” Mr De Backer said.

The masks were intended for health care workers and workers in nursing homes.  The supplier failed to provide the correct certification and lab tests here confirmed earlier fears about the masks’ inferiority.

Meanwhile it has emerged that corona test kits supplied to at least two care homes for the elderly have the wrong instructions.