Hospitals in southern Estonia have already reached the point that if the number of COVID-19 patients in need of hospital treatment continues to grow, planned treatments must be reduced, Health Board emergency medicine chief Urmas Sule told ERR.
The high infection rate in the counties of South Estonia means that the number of coronavirus patients in need of hospital treatment has increased, and all hospitals in South Estonia except Jõgeva Hospital currently have coronavirus patients, Sule said.
The smallest number of coronavirus patients in Estonia is currently at Järva County and Narva hospitals, the rest have six or more of them, said Sule. The greatest workload is at the University of Tartu Hospital, where there are 52 coronavirus patients, nine of whom need tertiary intensive care.
"The workload of the hospital is high and the challenge is to cope with it is as well," Sule said, adding that the number of coronavirus patients affects smaller hospitals in southern Estonia most and if the number of patients increases, scheduled treatments will suffer.
"If the numbers continue to grow, it will definitely affect the volume of planned treatments. We are in a phase where we hope to maintain this balance (between coronary treatment and planned treatment -ed), but maintaining balance in hospitals in southern Estonia is, of course, difficult," Sule said.
Sule noted that the situation is further complicated by the fact that a significant number of hospital staff are currently dealing with vaccinations. For example, close to a 100 people are conducting inoculations at the University of Tartu Hospital.
"This means that we actually have a lot of people who contribute to reducing the need for hospital treatment, but this, in turn, reduces the ability to reorganize anything," Sule said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino