Coronavirus: Belgium will not take patients from abroad
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Despite requests from other countries to help with rising numbers of infected, Belgium will not take additional coronavirus (Covid-19) patients from abroad at this time.
As more and more states fear that their health care systems will be overwhelmed by the influx of patients, calls for European solidarity have become increasingly urgent. Requests to Belgium from hospitals in the Netherlands and Italy have been refused, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès’ office informed the newspaper ‘De Tijd’.
“As long as we have not reached the peak of the epidemic, we are reserving our hospitals for people living in Belgium,” De Tijd learned from a source close to the government. The borders remain closed for patients from abroad, confirmed the cabinet of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (MR).
The Belgian healthcare system still has room for improvement. “But we cannot afford to accept patients from abroad now. If we run out of beds at a given time and have had access to requests from abroad, it will be difficult to explain it,” the source quoted by the daily continues.
If Belgium were to reach the peak of the epidemic before other countries, it is still possible to take care of foreign patients.
Germany has decided to take care of a limited number of Italian patients to relieve care institutions close to collapse. Angela Merkel’s country is also lending a hand to France, with the help of Switzerland and Luxembourg, for patients in Alsace, which has been hard hit by the epidemic.