Hospitals step up a gear, but “some hospitals are refusing patients”

Belgian hospitals are implementing Phase 1A of the medical plan to ensure the care of Covid and non-Covid patients.  In this phase a quarter of all critical care beds are set aside for Covid patients. 

Sander Ombelets, head nurse at Sint-Trudo Hospital in Sint-Truiden (Limburg): “Thanks to this plan we are gradually increasing the scale of our operation.  This allows us to plan properly.  In March we needed to accelerate from nil to 200km/h in no time.  Now we’re doing it in phases and wr can keep an eye on everything’.

But transferring patients to other hospitals is not always going smoothly.  Marc Noppen, director of Brussels University Hospital UZ: “We need to call round.  Hospitals in West Flanders refused two of our patients on Monday night.  Luckily the AZ Jan Palfijn in Ghent would take them.  It’s very frustrating when hospital after hospital refuses to take in patients. I expect the federal health inspection to intervene and sort this out.  We can’t be expected to spend our time ringing up other hospitals.”

Dr Noppen rejects claims from other hospitals that patients that don’t require critical care are being transferred: “Moving a patient receiving critical care is dangerous.  We move Covid patients, who may require critical care.”

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