Health ministry: shortage of medical staff is a realistic risk
Our main concern is medical staff shortage. In order to prevent it, we need to be able to designate staff to COVID patients - Health Ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz told TVN24. He referred to the latest National Health Fund guidelines regarding limitations in regular medical service. He also spoke about the expected daily and weekly average in infection cases.
The National Health Fund (NFZ) informed on Monday that "due to the pandemic growth rate, on health minister's orders, the NFZ recommends limiting regular medical services to a necessary minimum or temporarily suspension thereof".
The NFZ explained in a statement on its website that the guidelines were issued to "ensure additional hospital beds for emergency patients".
On Tuesday, Health Ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz told TVN24 the said guidelines.
He explained that they may be applicable only in cases "in which postponing surgery carries no risk to health, and especially to life of patients". "However, let me emphasise that individual decisions regarding individual patients belong to the doctors".
"These guidelines are there to allow doctors to postpone scheduled surgeries in order to tend to emergency patients," Mr Andrusiewicz said.
"There's no shortage of equipment or beds in Poland. There's a realistic risk, however, that in case of a high third wave (of the pandemic), we may lack staff. Our main concern is medical staff shortage. In order to prevent it, we need to be able to designate staff to COVID patients," said the spokesman.
"Unfortunately, the third wave is on the rise. It's not that we lack beds or staff as we speak, but we need to be ready for various scenarios", he added.
Asked about the expected spike in infections this week, the minister replied: "This week we may see daily records at 18 to 20,000, with a weekly average at 15-15,000".
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP