Amsterdam hospital closing emergency room at night due to staff shortages

Amsterdam UMC will close its emergency room at the VUmc location every evening from 8:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. from Monday, July 24. The hospital is struggling with staff shortages and couldn’t find enough people to have the emergency rooms open at both locations, AT5 reports.

From July 24, patients with an emergency at night should go to the AMC location. The Amsterdam university hospital had been considering moving all emergency care to the AMC location from May 2024. The staff shortages have now forced the issue.

“What you see in the entire emergency care chain is that all links in it currently suffer from a lack of staff. And so are we,” Mark Kramer, board member of the Amsterdam UMC, told AT5. According to him, transferring emergency care to the AMC won’t jeopardize patient care. “In that respect, the Amsterdammer is very well served. For the simple reason that there are currently six emergency rooms here in Amsterdam. That is a unique situation for the Netherlands.”

To maintain high-quality care that is safe for the patient and employees, the Amsterdam UMC has already taken all trauma patients by ambulance to the AMC emergency room since the end of March. The first-aid post for heart problems at the VUmc will remain open. The ambulance transport of patients who are already known at the VUmc location will also continue, according to the AT5.

People too quick to go to emergency room, Health Min. says

People in the Netherlands are too quick to go to the emergency room, caretaker Health Minister Ernst Kuipers told AD. According to him, society is often blinded by a hospital and emergency room on every corner, while a visit to a pharmacist, GP, or mental health professional would do the trick. “Tests show that a quarter of the people who call 112 can actually get by better with online help via,” he said.

Kuipers called it “frustrating” that the fall of the Cabinet will delay his plans for “good care at the right time,” according to the newspaper. “It could be the nurse in an ambulance who helps you at home. It could be the pharmacist who helps you with medication. It could be the physiotherapist when it comes to your knee problems.”

Going directly to the appropriate care provider could relieve pressure on the entire understaffed healthcare chain.

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