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SOS from hospitals in England: Fears that they will not be able to serve patients


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London, Thanasis Gavos

17.5% of the regional administrations of the NHS public health system in England, ie 24 out of 137, have declared a “critical incident” due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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Their move is a warning that they may not be able to provide adequate services to patients without reinforcement of staff and resources from other areas or from the central administration or without the cancellation of licenses.

This condition is due to the combination of increased coronary heart disease hospitalizations and significant absences of medical staff due to Omicron infections.

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Asked about this, the Minister of Transport Grand Saps said that it is not uncommon for some hospitals to declare a critical event in the winter, although he “recognizes” the real pressures that Omicron creates in the health system.

Public health officials and ordinary workers, however, accuse the government of not realizing the magnitude of the pressure on a health system that already had many gaps in manpower.

Former Health Minister and parliamentary health committee chairman Jeremy Hunt estimates that the NHS still needs 4,000 doctors and 17,000 nurses to meet the needs of Omicron, and a record 5.8 million patients are on waiting list for treatment and surgeries for other diseases.

Experts estimate that the number of treatments will increase further in the coming weeks, as Omicron is now spreading to older people. There are now more than 17,000 coronavirus carriers, double the number ten days earlier.

This increase, however, for the time being does not translate into a corresponding pressure in the intensive care units. The total of 911 intubated patients that were present on Tuesday is only increased by 7% in the last ten days.

In London, so far the focus of the Omicron outbreak, the growth rate of hospital admissions has been steadily declining. In the rest of the country, however, there is now a worrying increase in hospitalizations with NHS local administrations fearing they will not be able to adequately manage the outbreak as the capital has managed.

Adding to the problems is leprosy due to infections in the paramedical staff of ambulances. There are already reports of cases from the north of England in which patients suffering from a heart attack have been urged by the ambulance service to find their own way to a hospital.

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