More than 120 patients are waiting to be submitted to long-term treatment facilities after finishing their treatments at the National Hospital. Some have to wait eight or ten months before leaving the hospital.
Some of the patients have to stay in the hospital’s emergency room where they are often disturbed and cannot be given the service they require, Morgunbladid reports.
Gudrún Björg Sigurbjörnsdóttir, assistant nursing director at the National Hospital, said it is disappointing that the waiting list is getting longer again after recent improvements to the service for patients waiting to be submitted to long-term treatment facilities like retirement homes or other types of nursing homes.
“During the last few months the supply of beds at treatment facilities has decreased because many treatment facilities are being changed, double rooms are being changed into single rooms,” Sigurbjörnsdóttir said.
“People become sad and hopeless; they feel left out,” Sigurbjörnsdóttir continued. “Many of these patients find it hard to cope with having new roommates all the time. They become sicker.”
A new nursing home will be constructed on Sudurlandsbraut in Reykjavík and is scheduled to begin accepting patients in 2009.
In an Independence Party meeting on Saturday, the party’s leader and Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde announced that the healthcare system in Iceland would undergo extensive changes in the near future and that parties other than the state would possibly be permitted to sell healthcare service, Morgunbladid reports.