Recent reports about intensive care units (ICUs) in parts of Switzerland being at full capacity and unable to accommodate more patients are a source of worry for many people.
Imagine not getting critical treatment in a country that has one of the best and most accessible healthcare systems in the world.
But as things stand now, if you need to be hospitalised, whether due to Covid-related complications or another illness, you will not be turned away.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, Swiss hospitals have contingency plans and are equipped to handle patients needing urgent care.
For instance, Geneva’s University Hospital (HUG) is reaching its full capacity, but it is adding 150 more beds to accommodate new cases, HUG’s director Bertrand Levrat told RTS public broadcaster Monday evening.
HUG is also reducing, or even stopping altogether, elective surgeries and mobilising private clinics in the area to relieve the pressure on public hospitals.
If a hospital cannot accommodate new patients, they will be transferred to another medical facility where space is available — and if possible, within the same linguistic region.
This is currently the case at the Valais Hospital, which is now at full capacity and can no longer take in Covid-related cases.
Lausanne’s University Hospital (CHUV) is setting up a new unit that will coordinate patient transfers from one medical centre to another.
If necessary, REGA air ambulance service will fly patients to ICUs in other parts of the country.