Ljubljana – Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan appointed yesterday a national task force to coordinate hospital beds and hospital admission of Covid patients. The group will produce clear guidance on how to approach patients infected with coronavirus and patients with Covid symptoms, the minister said at a news conference on Wednesday.
The group is led by doctor Matjaž Jereb, head of the intensive care unit at the Department of Infectious Diseases at UKC Ljubljana, the country’s largest hospital.
It will meet once a week and it will send first instructions to medical organisations tomorrow, said Bešič Loredan.
The group features doctors from different fields that will be in charge of primary healthcare; care homes; beds at ordinary wards and ICU beds, as well as representatives of young doctors and nurses.
Robert Carotta, head of the Jesenice Hospital emergency unit, will continue taking care of the organisational side of the effort together with Biserka Simšič from the Health Ministry.
The system of Covid beds will be “regional” in that every hospital will have to have a certain number of beds reserved for Covid patients, said Carotta.
Once a hospital fills its capacity, Covid patients will be transferred to other hospitals, he explained.
Jereb said there are ever more patients with a certain medical condition but who are also infected with coronavirus, so “it’s important that all patients get equal attention”.
Last month an advisory Covid group was set up at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), led by Mario Fafangel from its centre for communicable diseases.
It features health professionals as well as experts from other social and natural sciences in what the minister labelled putting experts back in charge of the epidemic.
Fafangel said today that he was happy the ministry assumed its share of responsibility while adding that the two groups will closely work together.
Bešič Loradan said they were well aware of the roles of the ministry and NIJZ in epidemic management, adding that there was clear line between the powers of the groups.
“It’s up to the ministry to ensure the health system has adequate capacity, to reassure people that we’re no longer creating an emergency. The intention is to embed Covid in the health system and tell people that we’re prepared for the worst-case scenario, should it happen”.
Epidemic management decision-making meanwhile remains in the hands of the ministry, Bešič Loredan underscored.