We are nearing critical hospital bed occupancy level - head of hospital association

  • 2020-11-22
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Medical facilities are currently approaching 80 percent of bed occupancy, which is already at a critical level, the Latvian Hospital Association's Chairman Jevgenijs Kalejs told LETA.

"The situation is getting worse," Kalejs concluded, noting that the total number of Covid-19 inpatients continues to grow as more people are being hospitalized than discharged.

The beds themselves are not the problem, because everything is dependent on the staff, Kalejs explained, adding that in this respect "the situation is quite critical". In the opinion of the head of the association, the lack of staff is currently the most significant problem, as a significant number of physicians have been identified as contact persons, or have contracted Covid-19 themselves.

"Hospitals are trying to reserve beds, but at the same time they have to think about where to obtain the necessary staff," revealed Kalejs. In addition, he said, there is a need to find a way to increase employee motivation, which is currently quite low. At the same time, the interest of physicians in switching to the treatment of Covid-19 patients is quite ambiguous, as there is anxiety among medical personnel about becoming infected while performing work duties.

Therefore, it is important to find a way to increase the motivation of these employees, the chairman of the hospital association emphasized. According to him, allowances are one of the motivating factors, however, the amount of allowances granted to doctors in Latvia is the lowest in the Baltic States.

Equally important is the provision of safety for medical workers, which would include the availability of personal protective equipment. Asked about their availability, Kalejs stated that "at the moment there is enough personal protective equipment, but that these stocks are being used up".