Hospitals scaling down planned care more; Code black approaching
Scheduled care in hospitals continues to be under pressure. The National Acute Care Network (LNAZ) asked caretaker Minister Hugo de Jonge to ratify phase 2D of the scaling-up plan, an LNAZ spokesperson said. "I would not yet call phase 2D the phase before Code Black because it involves the possibility of scaling up to 1,350 ICU beds. It is not that far yet," the spokesperson said.
Phase 2D means that critical scheduled care is scaled down on a national level. These involve surgeries and treatments that should be performed within six weeks, such as chemotherapy or kidney transplants. Defense and the Red Cross can also be deployed. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare, and Sports could not say for certainty on Wednesday evening whether the request from the LNAZ to announce phase 2D has been received.
Following the request, caretaker Healthcare Minister Hugo de Jonge will check whether all criteria for this phase have been met before announcing it. His predecessor Tamara van Ark did the same in January of this year.
In connection with the pandemic, the LNAZ and the hospitals have drawn up the scaling-up plan in case the influx of coronavirus patients overloads the healthcare system. This frees up staff to help with coronavirus care.
The final phase, crisis phase 3, is known as Code Black. Hospitals can then only provide acute care and may have to choose between patients in this regard. In 3A and 3B, doctors do triage on medical grounds, deciding who gets help first. 3C means that choices might be made about who will not be helped.
In recent weeks, hospitals have been in phase 2C. Hospitals scaled down regular scheduled care, such as hip and knee surgeries and cosmetic surgeries.
Reporting by ANP