Thomas Disch (55) is disappointed by the cantonal hospital in Schaffhausen after his appendectomy.
Michael Sahlireporter news
Our healthcare system is under pressure. Many emergency rooms are overloaded. The water has long been “up to his nostrils,” a Basel emergency doctor recently complained in the media. And the children’s hospitals across Switzerland are so overcrowded that, in an emergency, the little patients have to be transported across the country in search of a bed. Doctors and nursing staff capitulate to the permanent overload and quit, as happened in the Einsiedeln SZ hospital in the summer. All the assistant doctors left at the same time. Thomas Disch (55) from Schaffhausen had to experience how unpleasant it can be for patients in an overloaded system.
When the organic farmer with an IT background suddenly suffered from severe abdominal pain a good two weeks ago, he quickly realized: It was the appendix. “I went to the cantonal hospital in Schaffhausen, which is only five minutes from my farm,” he says. Only: instead of getting help, he was initially ignored in the emergency room: “They didn’t even take notice of me. I was in a lot of pain.” And: “At some point, a Securitas employee brought me at least one chair.”
Patient had to fight for staff attention
The hospital stay continued in this style. As a patient, he had to fight for the attention of the nursing staff, says the farmer. And doctor’s rounds have sometimes taken seconds rather than minutes. “There was hardly any time for personal hygiene. I was constantly lying in a bed covered in sweat and blood.”
“There was hardly any time for personal hygiene”Thomas Disch, patient
During the operation there were also complications that made a follow-up operation necessary. And exiting after five days felt rushed. “I didn’t feel ready yet and I told my sister that before I left.” But he didn’t feel like he was being taken seriously. “Frightened” he went home, so Disch. Hardly out of the hospital, the operation wound bursts open again – and already makes for the next visit to the emergency room.
Hospital staff in Schaffhausen raises the alarm
The nursing staff in Schaffhausen raised the alarm about the precarious working conditions months ago. It complained in an open letter that was hung up in the building: “Since 2020 there has been an exceptional situation at the patient’s bedside.” Patients can “no longer be completely washed,” quoted the “Schaffhauser AZ” from the letter. It happens that those patients “who cannot drink themselves are undersupplied” and: “Patients stay in full insoles longer than necessary.” Even worse: the dosage of medication can no longer be checked. At that time, the hospital management said: The letter was taken seriously and measures were to be taken.
The conditions are increasingly precarious in many Swiss hospitals, says Susanne Gedamke, Managing Director of the Swiss patient organization SPO. “The situation will only get worse. The peak of the problem has not yet been reached, »she says in an interview with Blick.
The hospital emergency is not directly noticeable for the patients everywhere. But: At the corners and ends of the overloaded system, it is starting to crack more and more, also from the patient’s point of view. “The children’s hospitals and emergency rooms are particularly affected. The number of non-time-critical interventions being postponed has also increased again,” says Gedamke.
Hospital management wants to talk to the patient
What she also hears regularly from patients, but also from nurses: “Humanity suffers extremely. You don’t have time to talk to patients.” Gedamke warns: “If a medical crisis occurs and the system is already at its limit, it can tip over. Like now, for example, with the spread of the RS virus in children’s hospitals. At some point there will be more serious effects.”
Thomas Disch would probably sign the analysis. The farmer is currently recovering at home. “I hope I don’t have to go to the hospital so soon. And if it does, I’ll clarify exactly where I’m going beforehand.”
“In a crisis, the system can tip over”Susanne Gedamke, patient organization
When asked about the hospitals in Schaffhausen, it said: “Like other health care facilities in Switzerland, we suffer from a shortage of skilled workers and are seeing an increase in the number of people visiting the emergency room.” That is why there are fewer beds in operation than usual in the inpatient area.
Various measures have been taken to relieve the burden on nursing staff, including, for example, enabling part-time work and intensifying recruitment. With Thomas Disch one would like to seek a conversation, it is said.