The chairman of the Dutch Association of Hospitals NVZ, Ad Melkert, calls on the cabinet and the House of Representatives once again on Thursday evening to make vaccinations against corona available to certain groups of healthcare workers in the hospitals “as soon as possible”. He otherwise fears “an unprecedented emergency”. A tour of NU.nl among hospitals shows that the water is on their lips.
“The Netherlands is already beyond the limit of the available capacity for necessary care,” says Melkert. The injection for healthcare personnel in hospitals is therefore a “top priority”. A rapid vaccination of hospital staff at the bedside will contribute to longer and better care in this exhausting wave, he thinks.
On Wednesday, the hospitals also called on politicians to vaccinate all essential personnel from Monday. The Ministry of Health (VWS) then announced that there are currently too few vaccines. “Not everyone can sit in the front of the bus. In the first phase there is a limited number of vaccines in stock,” said a spokesperson in conversation with NU.nl.
Hans van Vliet, program manager of corona vaccinations at the RIVM, will meet with the NOS know that it is “logistically” possible to inoculate essential healthcare personnel earlier. “Whether that choice should be made is a political decision,” he said.
As it stands now, care workers at nursing homes, in disabled care, community nursing and in Wmo support in our country will be the first to receive a vaccine in January.
‘We can’t have much more than this’
NU.nl made a tour of several Dutch hospitals on Thursday to monitor the pressure on healthcare.
UMC Utrecht is seeing the number of corona patients still growing and on Thursday opened a third so-called cohort department, which offers space to ten of them. More than two hundred people with the virus are currently staying in the four regional hospitals in the province. “We also have the defense here,” says UMC spokesperson Joris Prinssen.
The Jeroen Bosch Hospital in Den Bosch is “very busy”. “We are still dealing with a large number of admissions of patients with corona. Unfortunately, a lot of care has already been postponed, but part of the regular care is still continuing,” the institution explains.
Just to the southwest, the tone is less optimistic. “Dark clouds are gathering above the Elisabeth TweeSteden in Tilburg and Waalwijk”, the hospital said.
The atmosphere is also tense in the Amphia Hospital in Breda. “We look forward with concern to the coming days, how the corona flow develops,” said a spokesman. “Our regular surgical care has been scaled down completely to free up staff for corona care. Whatever can continue, we try to continue.”
‘It’s still all hands on deck’
The crisis is not only causing a squeeze on regular care, but also continues to demand major sacrifices from hospital employees. “The pressure is high, which is reflected in the absenteeism and fatigue of the staff,” said the Amphia spokesperson.
“Our staff is very loyal and, just like at Christmas, returns voluntary leave to complete the services”, writes spokesman Rinske de Wit-Brandsma of the Noordwest Hospital Group, with locations in Alkmaar and Den Helder, in an e-mail. mail. “
“It is still all hands on deck”, says UMC spokesman Prinssen. “That is why we have to scale down certain categories of care: to avoid overburdening our people. Sometimes that also means putting an arm around someone.”