Although the infections are still increasing, the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven already has to mobilise all efforts to get the care organized.
The hospital counts as of Thursday are as follows: 62 corona patients. 50 in the special corona wards, and twelve in the ICU. As usual, absenteeism among staff will also increase in the autumn. This is causing more pressure.
“The hospital is now in phase red,” says Esther Gruintjes, the woman who, as manager of Care and Operations, has to get the puzzle right. “A crisis situation has arisen, which is worrying, but we still have it under control. On the one hand, there’s the pressure from the extra corona patients, and on the other hand, the hospital is currently struggling with an absenteeism rate of 6.5 percent. In practice, this means that there are 280 fewer people to do the work every day”.
Outpatient care continues
One of the big difference with the first wave is that this time the outpatient care continues as much as possible. The hospital emphatically calls upon people to come when they need care, or have been referred by their GP. So far, only non-urgent appointments have been postponed to a later moment.
In terms of mental support for its own staff, the hospital is well prepared. Every day the whole team is evaluated. In certain departments, employees have been assigned a buddy to support each other. The hospital tries to avoid overtime as much as possible.
A hospital in Liège would employ infected staff having no complaints to work. In order to compensate for the shortage of hands. But Esther Gruintjes finds that to be a ‘horrible idea’. “That really would have been the very last resort. In extreme emergencies you could have done that. But I don’t see something like that happening here any time soon.”
This week, Mayor Jorritsma also paid a visit to Catharina Hospital, to see what the situation is like in the health care sector, as chairman of the Safety Region.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives ONLINE Inburgering classes.