There has been a lot of strain on the two intensive care units at Landspítali University Hospital lately. Hospital Director Páll Matthíasson told Morgunblaðið, “Lately, it has happened repeatedly that all intensive care unit beds are taken, and more than that. Earlier in the week, the intensive care unit patients were sixteen, partly due to serious traffic accidents.” The units are designed to accommodate only 14 patients.
Up to ten percent of patients seeking care at the emergency room of Landspítali in recent months are foreign tourists or foreign residents.
Páll told RÚV that since daily charges for hospital stay in Iceland are considerably lower than in other countries, foreign insurance companies sometimes find it advantageous to keep their clients at Landspítali. This results in delays on top of those created by time-consuming paperwork required for discharging foreign patients.
Those delays, Páll stated, also affect other areas of the hospital operation.