Just 106 of the 2,000 places in intensive care in Belgium were still available on Sunday, Philippe Devos, head of the national association of medical unions, Absym, said on RTL-TVI’s “C’est pas tous les jours dimanche” programme.
Devos, head of intensive care at the Groupe santé CHC in Liège, added that there was a 50-50 chance that the 106 places would all be occupied in 10 days, even though the transfer of novel Coronavirus patients from Belgian to German hospitals was being intensified this weekend.
Devos said the country’s “exhausted and discouraged” health workers were angry since “a whole series of actions and messages could have been anticipated since March but this was not done.”
However, he admitted that the new wave of infections in other countries also showed that it made no sense blaming anyone. The aim was to avoid having to choose which patients to save, he said, adding that, in the meantime, procedures were being written.
“The (hospital) bioethics committees are reflecting on this and on Friday, we asked the Bio-Ethics Committee (the consultative wing of the Public Health Ministry) to see if there’s a way to come up with a national rule in case we reach that point,” Devos said.
“I don’t want doctors to make that choice,” the Absym president said. “I’d prefer the Government to do so.”