GPs have issued 38,000 fewer hospital referrals in the past two weeks than they estimated would have been without the COVID-19 outbreak. The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) reported this on Wednesday. This is a difference of 18 percent with the ‘normal’ situation. The Dutch Association of Emergency Care Physicians (NVSHA) will also ring the bell on Wednesday. Acute care may become congested because of the increase in corona patients in hospitals.
Since the outbreak started in March, 891,000 fewer referrals have been made than in a situation without the pandemic. This estimate is based on the numbers from previous years.
NZa chairman Marian Kaljouw speaks of a “worrying development” and calls on patients to continue to contact their GP if they have health problems. “Certainly in this time of difference in scale-up between hospitals, it is important that all available capacity is optimally used and distributed fairly.”
In the summer and the first weeks of September, the number of GP consultations was again at the same level as a year earlier. However, more of those consultations were short conversations of less than five minutes.
NVSHA fears that acute care will be ‘under pressure’
The Dutch Association of Emergency Care Physicians (NVSHA) says on Wednesday that it fears that the emergency department will “get in trouble”. This threat arises because more and more beds are occupied by patients who cannot be referred to nursing wards or intensive care.
The NVSHA calls for proper compliance with the corona measures to reduce the pressure on hospitals and thus promote circulation. The association also wants to be more closely involved in the national consultation on the approach to the COVID-19 outbreak.
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