No support for increasing ICU capacity: Dutch healthcare authority
Healthcare professionals find it unfeasible to scale up to more than 1,350 beds in intensive care, and there is no support for the plan, the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) confirmed reports in the Volkskrant. "Ultimately, it is about being able to continue to provide care together. If scaling up leads to more sick leave and absenteeism, we are even further away from that," an NZa spokesperson said.
The healthcare regulator spoke with representatives of doctors, nurses, and carers about the request from the caretaker Cabinet to scale up to more than the current maximum of 1,350 ICU beds from the end of December to April at the latest. The extra beds are needed to accommodate Covid-19 patients. The government considers it important that there is support for this from parties like the NZa and individual hospitals.
But the NZa does not support the plan because "given the staff that there is, it is impossible to go further than 1,350 beds," the spokesperson said.
The Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC) and the professional association V&VN also indicated that the request could not be met. The ICUs currently have 950 beds.
Reporting by ANP