Coronavirus: Belgium refuses to treat Italian and Dutch patients


Belgium will not take patients with the new coronavirus from abroad. Requests to do so from Dutch hospitals and Italy have been refused, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes’ cabinet reported to the newspaper ‘De Tijd’.

As more and more states fear the saturation of their health care system in the face of the influx of patients with Covid-19, calls for European solidarity are becoming more and more pressing.

Germany has thus decided to take care of a limited number of Italian patients to relieve healthcare establishments close to collapse. Angela Merkel’s country also lends a helping hand to France, with the help of Switzerland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, for the patients of Alsace, hard hit by the epidemic.

Solicited by Italy and a few Dutch hospitals, Belgium, on the other hand, will not accept patients from abroad. “Until we reach the peak of the epidemic, we reserve our hospitals for people who reside in Belgium,” learned ‘De Tijd’ from a source close to the government. Borders remain closed for patients from abroad, confirmed the office of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes (MR).

The Belgian health care system still has room. “But we cannot afford to accept patients from abroad now. If we run out of beds at some point and have acceded to requests from abroad, we can hardly explain it,” continues the source quoted by the daily.

If Belgium were to reach the peak of the epidemic before other countries, the care of foreign patients remains nevertheless possible.

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