Swiss health group warns of crisis in hospital emergency rooms

Swiss health group warns of crisis in hospital emergency rooms

GENEVA – The co-president of the Swiss Society of Emergency Medicine warned of a profound crisis in hospital emergency rooms.

In an interview with the daily Le Temps on Monday, Vincent Ribordy reacted to the overnight closure of the emergency room of the Martigny hospital in the canton of Valais. He commented on the hospital’s measure, saying: “This is only the beginning.”

The hospital in Martigny had said in a press release last week that the emergency room would be closed between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. local time starting Jan. 9.

In its press release, the hospital wrote that the decision to close the emergency department was “made with a heavy heart.”

The reason, it said, was the steady increase in the number of patients in the ER and the growing shortage of nursing staff.

Ribordy said the closure of the emergency department in Martigny reflects a widespread problem in Switzerland.

“This had to happen, even if we didn’t think Switzerland would be affected so quickly and so severely,” he told Le Temps.

In the eyes of the head of the association, the closure in Martigny is a concrete consequence of the lack of qualified personnel. A problem that has been known for several years, he said.

“It was thought that the capacity of the system was limitless, but that is not the case,” Ribordy said.

Alternatives would have to be found to relieve pressure on emergency rooms, which are now used as the main interface with the population, he added.

“But none of that will work as long as there is a shortage of primary care physicians,” he warned and said quota regulations would not be helpful in this regard.

According to Ribordy, there is also a lack of recognition for the profession. (Anadolu)

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