CHPG under strain

About a hundred Princess Grace Hospital staff are currently Covid positive, leaving shortages at the facility at a time when hospital admissions are on the rise.

The Princess Grace Hospital (CHPG) is experiencing the fifth wave of the pandemic just like the rest of us.

The start of the new year has seen a marked rise in people flocking to the hospital for Covid treatment, and the toll has been taken not only on the populace, but on hospital employees as well.

“Since 3rd January, we have been in a very complicated situation because there are many patients infected with Covid with relatively severe forms,” said Doctor Mathieu Liberatore, Head of Service at the CHPG, in an interview with government channel Monaco info. “But there are also all the other pathologies to be taken care of: non-Covid diseases, in particular cancerous, infectious, or even inflammatory diseases that must absolutely be treated.”

Meanwhile, the hospital is having to cope with around 100 Covid-positive staff on leave, of a total work force of 2,700.

“Like the rest of the population, CHPG staff are also very affected by this fifth wave,” said Doctor Liberatore.

While essential treatments are still being maintained, the doctor says much of the non-essential health care has been postponed, adding, “In all departments, beds are freed up to accommodate Covid patients.”

And the toll on staff, says the doctor, is obvious, with high stress levels and exhaustion on the rise.

“There are days when colleagues find it difficult to cope,” said Doctor Liberatore. “There is physical and psychological fatigue. Colleagues who are on leave must be replaced. It is the other operational agents who replace them, sometimes at short notice. The situation is therefore complicated. We’re hunkering down hoping it will pass quickly, but we know we’re facing another month in this somewhat complicated situation.”

The Prince’s government last week urged people with mild Covid not to go to the emergency room, but to call their GP for guidance. People who have trouble breathing should call 18 or 112.

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, which includes fever, fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, body aches and loss of smell, should contact the Covid call centre on +377 92 05 55 00, which is open seven days a week between 8am and 8pm.