The Ministry of Health prepares for Omicron and plans to establish emergency health facilities

The aim is to minimize Covid deaths during the expected sharp increase in hospitalizations caused by Omicron.

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The third wave of the pandemic overloaded the capacity of the Slovak healthcare system and left only minimal reserves, both in hospitals and in the physical and mental capacities of Slovak healthcare workers.


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The ministry said that given the character of the spread of the Omicron variant in the world, there is a serious threat to the Slovak health system which will not be able to absorb the increase in hospitalization of infections. Omicron in time as hospitals are still at the limit of their capacities with the retreat of the Delta wave.

Seven cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Slovakia as of December 23. Observers agree that by the new year, the number of infected patients will begin to rise again.

Emergency health facilities

The Ministry of Health therefore proposed to prepare emergency health structures that triage patients and basic therapy provided. The proposal was approved by the government.

The ministry proposes to initially establish such a facility and prepare for rapid expansion to four of them, or one smaller facility in each region. The initial capacity is 1,000 beds.

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“It must be emphasized that this is an emergency solution with the provision of very basic medical care at the level of war medicine, and not an increase in hospital capacity,” Minister Vladimír said. Lengvarsky. “This is an extremely complicated operation, which requires lightning-fast implementation in the first weeks of 2022. We have to prepare for the worst-case scenario in terms of predictions for the Omicron variant.”

Minimizing Covid Deaths

The objective of the intervention is to minimize the number of deaths due to Covid during a humanitarian disaster, to reduce the pressure on health establishments, to optimize the admission of patients and to offer oxygen therapy more quickly to patients. patients with breathing difficulties.

“This will make it possible to classify patients more efficiently, provide basic health care, oxygen and pharmaceutical treatment, and thus free up emergency medical service vehicles more quickly for further travel,” added Lengvarský. “In terms of staff, we have created a model example of 250 beds. We are also counting on the help of the armed forces and medical students. The emergency facility will belong to a larger hospital by territory, so it will closely cooperate with it.


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Due to the parameters of the Omicron variant, it is necessary to limit the spread of the disease in the “white” departments where non-Covid patients are treated. In addition, the spread among healthcare workers must be limited, especially in white neighborhoods, where a Covid-positive healthcare provider cannot, due to the risk of nosocomial infections, work, said the ministry.

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