Wéry added that the transfers should concern around a dozen patients and take place within “two or three weeks.”
One on five beds in the Iris network’s intensive care units (ICU) are occupied by a coronavirus patient, with hospital staff concerned over their capacity to keep providing other types of urgent care.
If more transfers are not organised, Wéry said that the hospital network would have to activate the 1B phase, in which half of ICU beds are reserved for a coronavirus patient.
“This would imply having to postpone due care in cardiology, oncology, pneumology, etc.,” he said, echoing comments and urgent warnings by regional officials as well as the head of the ICU in Brussels University Hospital (UZ Brussels).
The networks’ demand could put the pressure on regional health officials as it follows calls from hospitals in other provinces for patient transfers from the capital to stop.
On Tuesday, the mayor of Aalst said hospitals in the Flemish city should no longer receive patients from Brussels, arguing it could compromise local residents’ access to care.