Three additional hospitals to admit Covid patients

Novo Mesto/Nova Gorica/Murska Sobota – Due to an increase in Covid hospitalisations, the next phase of Slovenia’s hospital activation plan will be launched on Monday, meaning another three hospitals will start admitting Covid-19 patients, including in Nova Gorica in the west, Novo Mesto in the east and Murska Sobota in the north-east.

Meeting on Thursday, hospital officials, Health Ministry State Secretary Franc Vindišar and Robert Carotta, the national Covid bed coordinator, agreed that the fourth phase of the Covid hospital treatment strategy will be launched, Carotta told the STA on Friday.

“We wanted to give enough time for the hospitals to get ready,” he added, explaining why the decision was made already this week. Hospitals will have to suspend part of their regular services to provide Covid beds and staff.

Under the fourth phase, all Covid hospitals in Slovenia could provide up to 265 beds, including 88 in intensive care.

As of Monday, the Novo Mesto hospital will have 23 beds ready, including 15 regular and eight ICU beds. The Murska Sobota hospital could treat up to 21 patients, including six requiring intensive care, and the Nova Gorica hospital will have 15 beds ready, including five ICU beds.

Aggregate capacities will be boosted as well as the number of beds in Slovenia’s largest medical centres, UKC Ljubljana and UKC Maribor, will increase to 90 and 54, respectively.

Moreover, the total in the Celje hospital will rise to 41 beds and in the Golnik hospital to 21.

The fourth phase is in place until there are a maximum of 250 hospitalisations in the country.

“Currently, we still have some reserves available, so I believe the situation is under control for the weekend, however come Monday the number of hospitalisations will be so high that the activation of the fourth phase is necessary,” Carotta said.

He thinks all three additional Covid hospitals will be ready by Monday to admit Covid patients as there are currently no major capacity or equipment issues. What is a problem to a certain extent is staff shortages.

He noted that it had been believed the fourth phase would have to be launched in mid-September, but the escalating epidemiological figures demanded a different course of action.

Hospitalisations were up by 12 to 117 this morning, with 22 patients requiring intensive care, up by two from yesterday, according to government data. The number of Covid patients in hospital topped 100 for the first time since mid-June on Thursday.