Hospitals still struggling with pandemic backlog
Even though the number of coronavirus patients in Dutch hospitals has fallen sharply, hospitals are still struggling with long waiting lists. They're facing high absenteeism, resulting in many unused surgery rooms because of insufficient staff to use them, AD reports after surveying the hospitals.
The latest figures from the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) show that between 100,000 and 120,000 patients in the Netherlands are on waiting lists, many of whom have been waiting for surgery for a long time.
The St Antonius Hospital, with locations in Utrecht and Nieuwegein, told AD that "more than 10 percent" of its employees are sick at home. The Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda said that its employees are all working overtime to cover for sick colleagues. "As a result, we are not at all able to get rid of the waiting lists."
The Zuyderland Medical Center in Sittard-Geleen and Heerlen said that "three to eight" of its surgery rooms have been unused since January.
Earlier this week, the Dutch Orthopedic Association told AD that healthcare delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic may have resulted in a sharp increase in foot and toe amputations. Diabetes patients had their feet checked less often, resulting in out-of-control infections making amputation unavoidable.