The emergency department of the André Renard hospital in the city of Herstal, Liege, will be closed until Monday due to a lack of staff and staff fatigue, hospital management announced.
The emergency room has been closed since 2:00 PM on Thursday and won’t reopen again until 8:00 AM on Monday 13 December, reports De Standaard.
“For two years, the entire hospital staff has been making the greatest effort to combat Covid-19,” the hospital said in its announcement.
“We have exhausted all the resources that enable us to carry out our duties as a general hospital and we have reached the limit of what is humanly possible.”
By temporarily closing, the hospital wants to prevent an influx of new patients, only carrying out essential operations during the closure period.
“We are aware that this will not solve anything in the long term,” the announcement admitted. “Without an upgrade to the nursing profession, the situation will worsen in the coming months; structural measures are required.”
Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke’s cabinet has said that they regret the situation. It also highlighted that whenever a hospital refuses to admit a patient sent to them following a 112 emergency call, a federal health inspector makes a report for violations of the 1964 law on emergency medical care; this is then transferred to the public prosecutor’s office and the hospital.