Romanian healthcare system verges of collapse as COVID-19 cases surge

The Romanian healthcare system is in trouble. Romania has reported over 5,000 coronavirus infections on Wednesday, while on Thursday the number of new COVID-19 cases has spiked even more: 6,481 infections were confirmed within 24 hours. This was the highest daily count registered in Romania since the beginning of the pandemic. Also, Wednesday was the second consecutive day with more than 100 deaths registered. The ziare.com news portal interviewed several COVID-19 hospital managers in Bucharest, who were concurrent in emphasizing that the health care system is holding on for now, but the greatest problem is that medics and healthcare workers are terribly exhausted.

Dr. Beatrice Mahler, the manager of the Marius Nasta Institute of Pneumology told ziare.com, that especially intensive care medics are worn out, but they will continue to do their work and try to save people’s lives. “With the pandemic on a continuous rise, health care workers have to constantly multiply their efforts. Yet, people are still partying in Bucharest, and many still don’t wear facemasks on the streets”, said the manager.

As Dr. Mahler pointed out, intensive care specialists should be helped out by their internist colleagues, as they are already burned out, have no possibility of disconnecting and getting some real rest. “At the ICU wards, the chances of survival for COVID-19 patients are not that high, thus medics face gloomy situations day-by-day”, she added. The manager doctor agreed with the new regulation of the Health Ministry, which provides that COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms have to be monitored by their family doctors, to decrease the pressure on hospitals.

The manager of the Victor Babeş Clinical Hospital of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Dr. Emilian-Ioan Imbri told ziare.com that as the positivity rate of coronavirus tests ascends, the number of hospital admissions increases too.

“Around 200 people infected with coronavirus come to our hospital every day for medical evaluation and usually about 20 to 30 patients are released daily. Emptied beds are occupied in an instant”, said Dr. Imbri. “Support hospitals, modular units can and will be opened, if the situation demands, but this is not the solution. Health-care systems were not designed anywhere in the world to be able to cope with a pandemic of disastrous proportions. People have to try harder not to get infected”, he added.

As Dr. Imbri believes, the system itself will not collapse, but if overworked medical workers will be brought down by fatigue and sickness, wards and hospitals will become nonfunctional.

As an infectious diseases physicians of the Matei Balş Institute of Bucharest, Dr. Adrian Marinescu recounted, in the past two weeks they had “an avalanche of coronavirus patients.”

“There are dozens of people infected with coronavirus waiting in the ER units until beds get empty and they can be taken to the hospital wards. The hospitals are under huge pressure. Nevertheless, there still are still solutions, we need to focus more on organizing”, noted the doctor.

On October 28 Romanian Health Minister Nelu Tătaru issued a Ministerial Order with new rules regarding the handling and treatment of coronavirus patients. According to the new regulation, patients arriving with COVID-19 symptoms at the Emergency Rooms will be rapidly tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and also samples for the molecular diagnostic test will be collected. In case the rapid test is positive, the patient will be isolated immediately in a COVID-area. If it is negative, the patient will wait in a so called buffer-zone if hospitalization is needed.

Everyone with a positive RT-PCR test is obliged to inform the family doctor of this fact, and also of the location chosen for the period of self-isolation. On the other hand, the family physicians have to keep a record of their COVID-19 patients, monitor their condition and forward their data to the National Health Service directorate they belong to.

Title image: ICU doctors and health-care personnel is more and more overworked and exhausted

Source: directmm.ro

Author: Éva Zay