Summertime has arrived and we are now waiting for a break after such a long engagement in the COVID-19 crisis. But Hospital Managers are already preparing for the fall. The challenges are massive. We must be able to adapt our facilities to a new period after emergency care and ICU reinforcement. Our rehabilitation and psychiatric sector will have to offer more services to long COVID patients and support patients whose mental health has been severely affected by social restrictions and loss. Personnel recruitment, working conditions in such difficult times are important questions to solve. The human factor is central in hospital management and the workforce must be stabilized and secured.
If we remain optimistic and believe that the vaccine will successfully limit the spread of the disease, we could soon be facing a difficult period with patients on waiting lists for chronic conditions. A major question will be “are our hospitals ready to deliver all relevant solutions for people after a long delay due to the crisis”? Summer will be the time to plan for this challenge in order to be ready after the holiday break.
Concerning the EU, we have passed on the information regarding the EU Consultation on the Cross-border directive 2011/24/EU evaluation taking place from 4 May to 27 July aimed at assessing the reality of a more open Europe for citizens. But we have to keep in mind the recent publication of a European poll expressing the lack of confidence by the majority of European citizens after the EU crisis management: “Public faith in EU institutions has declined due to their handling of the covid-19 pandemic and vaccine procurement”. As a stakeholder supporting cooperation, we expect more and more attention by authorities. As care givers directly engaged with citizens, we are greatly involved in the promotion of European values.
Europe is not only a concept, it is a reality with actual stakeholders providing solutions! When a patient passes through the hospital doors, they have to know that the EU is working to guarantee supply, to distribute vaccines, and to support the professionals delivering care.
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP