Coronavirus: Belgium approves use of hospital resources to relieve nursing homes
Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: Belgium approves use of hospital resources to relieve nursing homes

© Belga

A government agreement reached Wednesday in Belgium will allow for hospital staff and resources to be deployed in nursing homes grappling with clusters of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

While non-binding in nature, the deal lays the groundwork for health authorities on a regional level to mobilise hospitals to make up for shortages of staff and equipment in Belgian nursing homes and other residential health care centres.

“So long as their primary care missions are not comprised, this general framework foresees that hospitals may support institutions of care for the elderly,” a press release from the Interministerial Conference on Public Health (ICPH), which approved the deal, said.

Related News:

 

While the ICPH is traditionally made up of federal health ministers and of Belgium’s regional and language community governments, the meeting on Wednesday also included Minister Philip De Backer, who is managing Belgium’s shortage of medical supplies.

The deal comes as nursing homes emerge as major infection hubs in Belgium, with authorities racing to ramp up testing amid both residents and staff.

Last week, federal health officials estimated that nursing home residents made up nearly half of Belgium’s Covid-19 deaths, an estimation which has since been publicly challenged by a virologist who is a member of the federal government’s coronavirus advisory team.

Virologist Marc Van Ranst, cited testing inconsistencies to say that nursing home residents reported as having died from Covid-19 may have actually died from something else.

The ICHP said that moves to divert resources from hospitals and into other care centres should take into account “the great pressure under which the hospital care system finds itself and will continue to find itself in the near future.”

Last week, Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke had last week issued a similar appeal to the “solidarity” of Flemish hospitals, saying it was also in their interest to help nursing homes to avoid an influx of hospital admissions.

To make up for insufficient supplies of bottled oxygen at nursing homes, which is crucial for treating some Covid-19 patients, the deal also calls on hospitals to admit nursing home residents or to delay the discharge of a nursing home residents who do not have access to oxygen supply in their care facilities.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Limiting private contacts ‘needed to fight autumn wave’, expert warns
The Consultative Committee announced it is introducing a handful of measures in public spaces to control the quickening spread of the coronavirus, ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
UN issues strong warning ahead of climate change summit in Glasgow
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...
Belgium’s decision on possible third shot postponed until Saturday
The decision on how Belgium will proceed with the roll-out of third shots of the coronavirus vaccine has been postponed until Saturday.  The news ...
Experts and politicians respond to new coronavirus measures
The handful of measures (re-)introduced by Belgium's Consultative Committee on Tuesday in response to the worsening coronavirus situation have had a ...
New fraudulent e-mails circulating in Belgium
A warning has been put out about new phishing e-mails that have been circulating since last Saturday and are sent from what could appear to be an ...