Sharp increase in long-term care deaths during coronavirus

During the coronavirus crisis, 5,500 more people receiving long-term care died that could be expected based on last year's figures, the Dutch healthcare authority NZa said on Friday in a report on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on long-term care between early March and mid-June, NOS reports.

The NZa could not say how many of these deaths were related to the coronavirus. It is also unclear how many of these people were living in nursing homes and how many were receiving long-term care at home.

At the end of May, nursing homes in the Netherlands had 5,861 empty beds. The occupancy in these homes decreased by over 4 percent since the start of this year. "The occupancy rate is decreasing because of higher mortality. In addition, a possible reason for the decrease is that people have recently postponed admission," the NZa said.

At the same time, the number of people on waiting lists for nursing homes increased. This is especially true for people already receiving long-term care who are waiting for a place in their preferred institution.