Slovenia launches mass mobilisation of medical staff to fight pandemic

Slovenia launches mass mobilisation of medical staff to fight pandemic
Slovenia’s Health Minister Janez Poklukar addresses a press conference. /
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje November 16, 2021

Slovenia’s Health Minister Janez Poklukar said on November 16 that the authorities have launched the largest ever mobilisation of medical staff due to the worsening of COVID-19 situation in the country.

On November 16, 3,763 new infections were reported, which is 419 more than last Tuesday. 

“Currently, the largest mobilisation and movement of staff within the health care system in the history of independent Slovenia is taking place,” said Poklukar and called on all those who are qualified to apply through associations, organisations or COVID hospital coordinators. 

"838 people are being treated in hospitals, of which 568 need oxygen supply, and an additional 236 patients are being treated in intensive care units," Poklukar said.

Hospitals have agreed to expand the capacities in intensive care units to 288 beds.

“With this, we move to the maximum number of treatments we can, so that the standard of treatment is still minimally satisfactory,” the minister stated, adding that hospitals are prioritising their human resources in the treatment of COVID patients and urgent non-COVID patients. 

Poklukar said that there is a shortage of nurses. Among physicians, there is the largest deficit of anaesthesiologists, intensive care specialists, internists, pulmonologists and neurologists. But, as the minister said, any help from a healthcare professional is welcome.

In the first round of reorganisation, about 130 private individuals responded to the calls. There is a huge interest among students and at least 260 high school and university medical students are already working in the system. The military medical unit provided 20 medical workers, and the Red Cross made available 120 medical staff, according to the minister.

Poklukar reiterated his call for vaccination and compliance with all measures.

Paediatrician Denis Bas also pointed out that the situation is extremely serious as paediatric wards have reported an increase in the number of hospitalised children infected with COVID-19.