Hospitals in Latvia to shut down scheduled services next week

With the rapid increase of Covid-19 infections and patients coming in, National Commission for Operational Medicine (VOMK) decided on Thursday, 14 October, to shut down scheduled healthcare services in hospitals starting with Monday, 18 October, as confirmed by Ministry of Health.
The decision was made so that it is possible to provide additional medical personnel resources and organize beds for emergency, acute and Covid-19 patients.
Epidemiological outlooks suggest the workload of hospitals continues rapidly growing because of Covid-19 patients.
The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has increased to 954 in Latvia. 116 of them are in a critical state. Considering the expected increase of patients, the ministry believes it is necessary to divert additional resources towards medical services in emergency and acute cases, shutting down scheduled outpatient medical services.
The Ministry of Health reminds that the state of emergency in the medical sector declared a week ago is meant to concentrate medical resources so that it is possible to provide emergency medical services, treat patients suffering from acute health problems and Covid-19 patients.
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Patients provided with acute medical assistance at a higher-level hospital may be diverted to a lower-level hospital or sent home to continue treatment under supervision of their general practitioner. Hospitals have organized additional medical personnel to treat Covid-19 patients even though under normal circumstances those hospital workers do not work with patients suffering from infection.
Each healthcare institution will individually contact patients to inform them of any changes to their scheduled medical services. These patients will not lose their queue. Once scheduled services have been restored, those patients will be put on the priority list. To receive accurate information about state-paid healthcare services, the ministry invites residents to contact the National Health Service at 8000 1234.
VOMK decided that from next year onward Aizkraukle Hospital will start treating Covid-19 patients and Jelgava Hospital Children’s Ward will be reorganized into a Covid-19 ward.
If need be children from Jelgava Hospital will be transferred to the Children’s Clinical University Hospital.
Similarly to the previous Covid-19 outbreak, hospitals are not allowed to cease multiple specific healthcare services – chemotherapy, biological medicines, organ transplantation, radiation therapy, health care services in haematology, methadone and buprenorphine replacement therapy, the ministry stresses.
Additionally, hospitals are not allowed to cease invasive cardiology and radiology, cancer treatment, life-saving surgeries and surgeries postponing which may result in the patient’s disability.