Now that the pressure on hospitals is decreasing little by little, they may reduce the number of beds reserved for corona patients. They can perform minor, non-essential procedures again.
This is stated in a circular from the committee “Hospital & Transport Surge Capacity”, the interfederal consultative body that monitors the situation in hospitals. “We are gradually trying to make normal activities possible in hospitals again,” Geert Meyfroidt told the Belga news agency. He is a member of the committee as chairman of the Belgian Intensive Medicine Association.
It is a “restart with the handbrake on,” emphasizes Meyfroidt. This is because the pressure on intensive care services will remain high at least until the end of the year. In concrete terms, the hospitals can gradually start to reduce the corona emergency plan, from phase 2B to 2A. They may reduce the number of beds for corona patients, but must keep them in reserve for another two weeks for a possible recurrence.
In addition, hospitals will be given the option to restart non-essential care. “The resumption of regular activities is desirable and necessary for public health,” the circular reads. This makes traditional hospitalizations and day admissions, where the patients do not have to pass through intensive care, again possible.
The responsibility to restart non-essential care rests with the hospitals themselves. They decide whether they have the space to perform non-essential interventions or not, and which ones. “Mainly the availability of personnel will be a determining factor in this,” it says in the circular.