Intensive care unit at Son Llàtzer Hospital in Palma.

28-04-2020Miquel À. Cañellas

The Satse nurses union claims that there is an insufficient number of intensive care beds in the Balearics to comply with requirements for de-escalation. The national ministry of health established that advancing in the de-escalation programme required there being between 1.5 and two beds for every 10,000 inhabitants or for there to be the capacity to instal beds within a maximum period of five days.

According to Satse, there are 36 provinces in Spain where there are not enough ICU beds. It is therefore insisting that the numbers be increased. In the Balearics, the existing number is 84 beds. This needs to be increased to 88 in order to reach an average of 1.5 beds per 10,000 inhabitants. A priority of the regional health ministry must be reinforce intensive care units in case there are outbreaks of the virus over the coming months. "The chaos and saturation at the beginning of the current crisis due to there not having been enough beds cannot be repeated."

Satse also wants an increase in nursing personnel for intensive care so that situations of two patients for each nurse are not exceeded. "This number is frequently exceeded."

The Balearic health ministry has responded by saying that it doesn't know what Satse is basing its calculations on and whether these include (or not) beds in private hospitals and under contingency plans (which were never needed). "When the epidemic was at its worst, there was under 70% occupancy. The national ministry has our data and has assessed this positively."

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