The University Medical Center Groningen says it will delay scores of non-emergency surgeries because of escalating hospital staff sickness, the Groninger Internet Courant reports.
In a statement, UMCG spokesperson Joost Wessels said the surge of COVID-19 infections among doctors and nurses has battered the hospital, forcing it to postpone treatments for many diseases. Wessels assured those affected that UMCG was working hard to deliver as much care and services as possible and would start rescheduling the surgeries it had to delay as soon as the stress put on the hospital by staff sickness diminishes.
Only seventeen out of twenty operating rooms are open at UMCG due to staff shortages, but emergency surgery, Wessel says, has continued.
The University Medical Center Groningen is not the only location to be affected by staffing shortages and the daily grind of rising infections. In big cities, hospitals are reporting dozens of workers out sick with COVID-19 each week.
Projections suggest the current surge may wane in coming weeks. But for now it is continuing unabated. The constant crush of patients – and the inability of many hospitals to treat them – is straining the patience of doctors, who face moral distress about having to choose who receives treatment, and the patients, who have to deal with a longer wait for surgery than usual.