Increase in COVID-19 beds to mitigate Omicron threat


Prime Minister Steven Marshall said the latest update to the government’s hospital plan will include moving patients from public to private hospitals to create around 500 dedicated service beds and also provide the capacity to provide intensive care to up to ‘to 60 patients.

“The emergence of Omicron has been a game changer – the severity of cases is lower but higher transmissibility means there are more cases. Just as we have adapted our strategy for Delta, we are adapting our response to Omicron to ensure we are once again meeting the challenges of the global pandemic, ”said Prime Minister Marshall.

“This will mean a pivot from the original plan where the vast majority of COVID-positive patients were to be treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, over a much longer period.

“Lyell McEwin Hospital and Flinders Medical Center will now also provide acute hospital care for COVID-positive patients as we head towards the peak.

“This updated hospital plan responds to peak hospital needs.

“I am very grateful to all the dedicated hospital and ambulance staff for their incredible efforts to keep South Australia safe as we tackle the new Omicron variant.”

Lanes for acute care inpatients will realign during this week to prepare for the expected peak of the current Omicron wave in late January.

When planning for the Delta variant, it was predicted that 5% of COVID-19 cases – which are expected to affect around 200 patients at a time – would require hospitalization, with 85% to be treated at home or in a supported hospital. . -accommodation at the hotel.

Currently, less than 1% of COVID-19 cases have required hospitalization, but the volume of cases is much higher.

There are already around 200 patients being treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Omicron outbreak has not yet reached its peak.

It is expected that 98% of positive cases of COVID-19 Omicron will have mild to moderate symptoms and be able to isolate themselves safely in their own home, 1% of positive cases will require sustained care (that is, i.e. hospital in hotel) and 1 percent of positive cases will require hospitalization.

People with mild to moderate symptoms will care for themselves and their family members at home and will have access to supportive health resources as needed.

Our ability to manage the increased number of COVID-19 hospitalizations relies on the capacity created in the public system through our COVID-ready investments, supported by a partnership with the private hospital sector to provide beds and withdraw activities. non-COVID from public hospitals.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital will increase its capacity from 200 to 300 COVID-positive hospital patients.

Flinders Medical Center will treat up to 100 COVID-positive hospital patients in the south and will continue to treat pregnant women and their babies.

Lyell McEwin Hospital will prepare to receive up to 100 COVID-positive hospital patients in the northern suburbs.

Some regional hospitals are already treating local COVID-positive patients and will continue to do so when it is safe to do so.

Local Health Networks, which manage SA Health’s public hospitals, are undertaking detailed planning to determine which wards and beds can be moved to other sites to build capacity.

Some plans are already in place; for example, cardiothoracic surgery at FMC has moved to Flinders Private and some surgical activity is expected to shift from RAH to Calvary Hospital soon.

“The pandemic is constantly evolving and our response will constantly evolve,” said Premier Marshall.

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