Brussels (Brussels Morning) As caregivers remain on deck in the face of the fourth wave of coronavirus, and hospitals face an increasingly significant shortage of arms, especially in intensive care, some departments are now making complicated decisions to ensure the continuity of essential patient services.
Thus, at the CHU Brugmann, the staff received a video evoking the possibility of having to cancel annual leave, faced with the current hospital tension.
There is enough information confirmed by the management of the hospital center. The medical management sent this video yesterday afternoon to all of their employees. She explained the measures in place following the new directives of this Wednesday, and it was mentioned that they could ask some employees to postpone their annual leave, following the significant shortage, explains Caroline Franckx, general manager of the CHU Brugmann, “It is, therefore, a measure which could be added, in a search for a balance, and which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It, therefore, does not apply for the moment”.
“The management is also formally committed, in the event that leaves have to be canceled, that they will not be lost. And we favored this video format because these measures are not trivial”, she also adds.
The shortage present in Brussels hospitals
It is because hospitals, including those in the capital, are facing a serious shortage of caregivers.
“Today, we have a high absenteeism rate, in the order of 20 to 30% at CHU Brugmann. From week to week, we look at the staffing, and there are people absent, sick, in quarantine, or exhausted by this fourth wave that they are experiencing. These are consequences that we have to face”, explains Caroline Franckx.
Omicron cases were confirmed in Belgium even before being identified in Africa
To make matters worse, the novel coronavirus continues to show no signs of going away shortly. The newest ‘variant of concern’, named Omicron, has already started to appear in multiple countries across the globe. Aided with the ease of restrictions and life returning to normal, the new variant is spreading faster than any other in the past.
What’s even more surprising is the fact that this variant had already been detected in parts of Europe, especially the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium well over a week before it was identified in South Africa.
However, the nature of this variant is still under rigorous scrutiny.