Medical experts concerned more operations to be cancelled due to Omicron
Medical experts fear the backlog of surgeries will further increase due to the Omicron variant, the Volkskrant reported. More than 210,000 operations have been put off due to the coronavirus, and 41 percent of surgery rooms have been closed.
Specialized healthcare workers often have to jump in to treat Covid-19 patients.
In 20 out of 73 hospitals, urgent care such as cancer treatment was unable to be given within the standard six weeks. "Every month a patient has to wait, the further their sicknesses progresses," chair of the National Association Intensive Care (NVIC) Diederik Gommers said.
A delay in treatment can lead to other healthcare sectors having an intenser workload. "Due to kidney transplants not going through, people who have to go to the hospital more frequently for dialysis. The effect we see daily: dialysis capacity is reaching its maximum," chair of the internists association Robin Peeters said.
There is no clear data on how many people died because they could not receive the proper care. "There are only generic excess mortality figures," Gommers said. He said he requested more detailed information from Statistic Netherlands to determine the full scope of the problem.
Ernst Kuipers predicted that many patients on the waiting list will have to wait past the first quarter of 2022 to receive care.