Landspitali hospital has become so crowded that employees were forced to convert a garage into an emergency ward.
RÚV reports that the garage can hold six patients. This decision was made due to the unusual number of emergency room check-ins this week.
“You might think this is some kind of joke,” Chief of Emergency Medicine Hilmar Kjartansson told reporters. “But this is about as far from a joke as it could be. We’re just trying to adjust to a ridiculous situation.”
Dozens more patients were awaiting treatment in the corridors of the emergency room. While Hilmar admitted that an emergency room ward in a garage was “unacceptable”, he added that it is not acceptable to make them wait in the corridors without treatment, either.
In related news, deCODE CEO Kári Stefánsson’s petition to increase government funding for health care has now broken all Icelandic records for the most-signed petition in the country’s history. Over 83,000 Icelanders have signed it, calling upon the government to increase health care funding to 11% of the national budget.