Now that the first wave of Covid-19 infections in the Netherlands has passed and hospitals are preparing for what comes next, health insurer CZ is calling for coronavirus care to be limited to a few, separate hospitals. “Concentrate care for Covid patients in a few centers in the region so that the other hospitals can take up regular care. Then everyone gets the care that is needed,” CZ chairman Joep de Groot said to Trouw.
That all hospitals had to care for patients with Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, was inevitable in the first, acute phase. But now the Netherlands has some breathing room and it is time for a change, De Groot said. Various virologists warned that there will be a second wave of infections with lockdown measures relaxing. “We must not return to a situation in which we have to reduce regular healthcare on a large scale. That is not necessary if there are concentrated centers that initially absorb the second wave,” he said.
CZ is discussing this matter with regional consultative bodies on acute care. According to De Groot, the first wave situation, with all hospitals focussed on coronavirus care, resulted in many patients waiting for treatment. And that while there was still room at independent treatment centers and commercial clinics, he said. These clinics can treat patients whose regular doctors are busy with Covid-19 care, he said. “We have patients who need care and we see that there is capacity. We should use that.”