Wednesday 28 July 2021

Hospitals to tackle ops backlog with evening and weekend shifts: AD

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Hospitals will operate in the evenings and at weekends to tackle the long waiting lists for operations caused by the coronavirus crisis, the AD reported on Tuesday.

They will also plan to carry out similar operations on the same day to save time, the paper said.

However, most hospitals will be giving their staff a respite until September before they start the new schedule, the paper said.

Some 320,000 operations were postponed between March 2020 and May 2021, according to figures from the Dutch healthcare council Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit.

Departments for orthopedics, nose ears and throat, gynaecology, urology and plastic surgery in particular have long waiting lists because operations in these areas, which can be planned some time ahead, were the first to be postponed.

A number of hospitals said they would be gauging the willingness of staff to work extra shifts. ‘To start with we will be using six operating rooms on Saturdays to catch up with the backlog and we are looking into increasing this,’ a spokesman for the Isala hospital in Zwolle told the paper.

The Erasmus hospital in Rotterdam said it had found that staff were willing to work overtime because ‘it is extra work with a clear goal,’ director of operations Johanneke Mulder said.

Hospitals are also looking into a more efficient use of the operating rooms. ‘If you do a lot of gall bladder operations in one day there is not much you have to do to the operating room between operations. That means you can help one or two patients extra,’ a spokesman for the Nij Smellinghe hospital in Drachten said.

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