Growing concern about Omicron's impact on hospital wards
Waiting to see what will happen with hospital admissions in the near future is "very gripping" now that some coronavirus measures have been released, said Ina Kuper, the acting chair of the National Coordination Center for Patients Distribution (LCPS) and the National Network Acute Care (LNAZ). She held her first press briefing on Monday about the pressure on the healthcare system. The press conferences were previously held by Ernst Kuipers, who is now the health minister.
"In the short term, we expect more infections, especially in the group of 40 to 60-year-olds, and that can lead to more hospital admissions. But we are seeing that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is less pathogenic and will probably lead to a [lower rate of] hospital admissions," said Kuper from the Isala Hospital in Zwolle, where she is a board member.
She has observed mainly favorable developments in intensive care units. "And that is very nice. We expect that the influx in the intensive care units will remain about the same in the next two weeks, and that the pressure on this care sector will be less than expected, and will remain manageable," said the acting chair. Regular care wards, care homes and general practitioners may be a bit busier with coronavirus patients in the coming period, she said.
In the coming weeks, hospitals will concentrate as much as possible on catching up with care that has been delayed. "After that we have to look further. There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment."
Reporting by ANP.