Emergency medicine chief: Pressure on health care system increasing

Urmas Sule.
Urmas Sule. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Health Board (Terviseamet) emergency medicine chief Urmas Sule said the workload in the health care system is growing - more and more children are becoming infected with coronavirus and hospitals in general, are overcrowded with other patients.

"If asked, what has changed lately, then we see quite a few children needing hospital treatment," Sule told ERR.

At the same time, Sule could not explain the exact reasons behind this rise. "It definitely can't be associated, at least based on the current knowledge, with the Omicron strain," he said.

"In the background, there are diseases, which are always emergency hospitalizations, there are so many of these patients in all hospitals. During the spring wave, there wasn't such a situation," Sule said.

Despite the fact that reducing the number of tests taken has been discussed, Sule said that organizational changes are difficult to make at the moment. It has been decided that family doctors can do significantly less scheduled treatments in order to focus on emergency work.

"But when we have 5,000 new positives, then it's clear that the family doctors' workload will not be decreasing any time soon," Sule said.

Sule said the family doctor's helpline was called 16,600 times over the past week, which is an all-time record, and the number of calls last week is not expected to decrease.

Sule said since the general increase in the number of infected people has been very rapid over the past week, it is difficult to predict when and to what extent the need for hospital treatment will increase.

At the same time, he acknowledged mainly younger people continue to get infected with the coronavirus and the hospitals are not yet overcrowded due to the virus.

Sule said that the need for hospital treatment is concentrated in the northern region. "There are currently 205 coronavirus patients in inpatient treatment in the northern region and 116 in the southern region," Sule said.

As of Monday morning, there are 321 people in hospital with coronavirus, 225 of whom need hospital treatment for severe Covid-19.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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