Surgery backlog catch-up will take two years: Anesthesiologists
It will take at least two years to catch up on the surgery backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Dutch Association for Anesthesiology (NVA) stated. The estimate is more in line with what other healthcare experts have said, as opposed to Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark, who said delayed surgeries could largely be caught up by the end of this year.
Her estimate was deemed extremely unrealistic by NVA, broadcaster NOS reported.
"If we only focus on the postponed operations, the healthcare system could eliminate the backlog in two months. However, this catch-up care comes on top of the regular care that must be scaled up to the normal level," NVA stated.
Furthermore, the healthcare system will face extra pressure even if postponed surgeries are made up for in the next two years. To keep regular care running smoothly, as well as to perform the delayed surgeries during that period, 10 percent additional operating time is needed, NVA explained.
The Dutch medical system will have to catch up on a backlog of some 140,000 surgeries during this year, Van Ark previously stated. According to her, that will require non-Covid patients to be spread throughout the country.
Delayed chemo treatments and kidney transplants will be given priority in the process. Other, less acute, plannable care such as cataract surgeries, gallbladder removal or hip replacement procedures will be made up for as much as possible this year.
The remaining delayed surgeries would be performed with a run-out to early 2022, if necessary.