National Hospital Of Iceland Deprived Of 120 Beds In Couple Of Months - The Reykjavik Grapevine

National Hospital Of Iceland Deprived Of 120 Beds In Couple Of Months

Published January 12, 2018

Alice Demurtas
Photos by
Art Bicnick
Sigtryggur Ari Johannsson

Around twenty hospital beds have recently been taken from the National University Hospital of Iceland due to shortage of resource and staff, Visir reports.

The decision to scrap these 20 beds from the hospital equipment list comes just a month after the Department of Cardiology was deprived of six beds. In addition to this, the hospital needs space for a hundred elderly individuals who have been hospitalised and are now waiting to be accepted to nursing homes.

nurse, doctor, surgery, iceland, landspítali

A Deprived Hospital

The National Hospital has been in dire need of financial assistance for the past few years, and although governments have been well aware of its declining conditions, there seems to be little willingness to do something concrete.

As we recently reported, uninsured foreign travellers have accumulated a debt with the hospital that amounts to 109 million ISK, or 1.8 million US. In addition to the debt, the obsolete equipment and the mold, the hospital has also been in need of an extra 500 nurses and nursing assistants.

A vicious circle

Jón Magnús Kristjánsson, who works as an emergency physician, told Vísir that the 120 beds are necessary to the hospital. In fact, the lack of bed does not only result in worsening conditions for the patients, but also for the staff, which has seen an increase in workload and pressure without an adequate pay rise.

As more and more nurses decide to quit their position in Iceland and flee to Norway, the workload has become even more unmanageable for those who have stayed behind, making it harder for the hospital to properly assist their patients.

“We are maybe talking about ¼ of all the hospital beds,” Jón Magnús reckons. “There you have a vicious circle that will become worse and worse unless the government intervenes.”

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