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Medical field faces backlog of postponed operations

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The medical field is scrambling to catch up with the more than 110,000 operations that were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, De Telegraaf reports.

Hospitals remain understaffed, which is the biggest obstacle to catching up on these operations, according to De Telegraaf. For example, the AD reported in January that nursing staff in hospitals were resigning due to burnout or were unable to come to work because they were infected with COVID-19. At the time, there were over 2,200 vacancies for nurses on one job website.

In addition, the newest wave of the pandemic, along with the aftermath of previous spikes, has caused huge losses in the care workforce. Up to 20 percent of staff are unable to come to work. 

The largest backlog of postponed operations is in the orthopedics field, where 50,000 Dutch people await hip or knee replacements. Before the pandemic, this number was 10,000. 

In addition, thoracic surgeons said they have a total of 2,300 heart patients waiting, which is 1,300 more than before the pandemic. There are also backlogs in urology, plastic surgery and gynecology.

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