HUS’s boss demands clarity on the government’s Covid decision-making process

Acting Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) managing director Markku Mäkijärvi, said the government needs to clarify how it makes decisions about covid restrictions.

"I would like more clarity on the roles and responsibilities of ministries and regional decision-makers," he told Yle TV1’s breakfast program on Wednesday.

He made the comments the day after the hospital district announced it was raising its readiness to deal with the growing number of Covid patients in need of hospitalization.

In early September, the government introduced a new hybrid-Covid strategy, which, among other things, transferred responsibility for fighting the epidemic to local and regional authorities. According to Mäkijärvi, the strategy needs further refinement.

"We need to look at what the government put forward [in its strategy] so that we can make decisions. There is too much gray area for decision-making," Mäkijärvi said.

The government will meet on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the possibility of restoring or continuing coronavir restrictions due to the worsening epidemic.

HUS raises the standby level to the second highest

HUS announced on Tuesday that Mäkijärvi decided to raise the district’s readiness level to another level due to the increased strain on Covid patients in need of hospitalization.

HUS serves the most residents in the country and there are still the most new cases of coronavirus seen there.

HUS has three readiness levels. The level is raised to another level as instructed when an hospital district encounters exceptionally severe or long-term disruptions that threaten its ability to provide services in one or more hospital districts.

According to the hospital district, in the light of the worsening epidemic in the whole country, it would be necessary to increase crisis management capabilities nationwide as well.

Under the increased level of readiness, the district will have to implement exceptional solutions to continue operations in a number of hospitals and clinics, including possible reorganizations or reorganizations of human resources.

Due to the worsening epidemic, the metropolitan coronavir coordination group on Tuesday proposed that the government increase restrictions on restaurants, further shortening opening hours and stopping alcohol sales, for example, earlier.

According to the coordination group, their proposals were driven by an increase in new cases of Covid, a slowdown in vaccination coverage and an increased burden on specialist care workers.

Emergency brake

During the autumn, the government has prepared a so-called emergency braking mechanism that could be put in place if the epidemic situation worsens.

Once the mechanism is in place, regional and local authorities could introduce further restrictions on the coronavirus.

The government will also discuss the details of the emergency brake on Wednesday, and Mäkijärvi said he wanted the criteria for the mechanism to be clearly defined.

He added that he did not want Finland to react too late to the deteriorating situation, which suggests that this was the case in Estonia, where the number of new Covid cases, hospitalizations and related deaths has recently increased.

Source: The Nordic Page


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