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State doctors concerned over suspension of non-urgent surgeries

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State doctors’ union Pasyki on Tuesday expressed concern for the future of public hospitals citing the recent decision to postpone non-urgent surgeries.

Saying the union was not informed regarding the government’s decision, Pasyki highlighted that this will affect many patients, and that it did not understand the reasons behind the postponement.

“Unfortunately, there is particular difficulty and lack of ability to dynamically adjust the number of beds taking into account scientific data,” Pasyki said, despite “after almost two years since the pandemic outbreak”.

“We did not take advantage of the time for better planning,” doctors at public hospitals said, thus affecting non-Covid patients.

The repeated decrease of structures and services “has a direct impact on patients, hospitals and progressively on the entire health system”, Pasyki added.

The decree, which was put in effect as of Sunday, provides that scheduled surgeries excluding emergency operations, will be postponed at both state and private hospitals, and also commandeered bed capacity in private healthcare facilities.

Private hospitals must maintain a bed occupancy limit of 70 per cent, and 60 per cent for their ICUs to be able to accept non-covid patients from state hospitals.

Non-urgent surgeries were carried out for about three months after they resumed on September 8 following their previous postponement in mid-July to clear more beds for Covid patients after daily cases rose to over 1,000.

Last week, patients’ association also condemned the decision, saying this was unnecessary during the current epidemiological situation and it might result to fatalities of non-Covid patients.

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