Hospitals are preparing for the worst case scenario

The healthcare sector, in consultation with Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroek, is preparing a contingency plan with various stages. In this way, it is hoped that we will be somewhat prepared for the omicron wave in hospitals. Margot Clouet, the best woman in the Zorgnet-Icuro care umbrella, invites you not to waste any time. “It’s expected to peak in hospital admissions in a couple of weeks, so we should start to reduce it significantly next week.”

Virologist Stephen van Guchte announced Thursday after the advisory committee that the Sciensano Health Institute expects a peak in the number of hospitalizations by the end of January from 400 to 1,300 per day.

In a worst-case scenario, Kluite says, hospitals would quickly run into problems, because there are currently only about 7,000 beds available. In this scenario, just as during the first wave, hospitals will be largely closed and triage will be required for people who will still be receiving treatment.

This is why Kluyt reiterates her call for a policy guiding framework that must be communicated very clearly to the population. “This way there is an unambiguous way to make decisions, although ultimately the doctor remains responsible,” says Clouet.

Work crew

In any case, there is not much room for staff anymore, because the hospitals are already facing huge leakage. “Plus, it’s not the case that trucks can still be driven with people, because all options are as good as exhausting them,” Cloet emphasizes.

According to Zorgnet-Icuro’s Top Woman, there’s no time to lose. So the contingency plan should already be in place before the next advisory committee, although Kluwet is hopeful that the worst-case scenario does not eventually become a reality.

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De Croo is looking into it

Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo is now looking for “business continuity” with the Ministers of Labour, Health, Entrepreneurs and the Interior. Employers and the National Crisis Center are sitting around the table, too. These talks will continue in the coming days. Together, they want to ensure proper monitoring of absences and updating of continuity plans that companies are already working on. The intention is that the G10, along with the government, will soon look into the problem.

Megan Vasquez

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