Should masks be removed in hospitals? “A move that is difficult to use”

In the north of the country, the health care department hopes to lift the obligation soon, Mediahuis Group newspapers reported on Friday. On the French-speaking side, it’s not the same story: the department instead pleads to maintain the obligation to wear face masks in hospitals.

From May 4, 2020, wearing of face masks has been made mandatory in hospitals, irrespective of the department. Little by little, it seems that hospitals in the north of the country will choose more to do away with face masks.

“There’s less logic,” explains Margot Kloet of Sorknet-Ikuro, the Flemish umbrella organization for public hospitals. “When you visit your grandfather in a nursing home, a mouth mask is not required, but if you visit your aunt in hospital, it is mandatory.” Visitors and patients are lost”.

Frank Vermassen, chief physician at UZ Gent, confirms, “It is becoming more and more difficult to use this measure. “Masks prevent communication between doctor and patient. Facial expressions are missing and important explanations are often misunderstood.” “Three years have passed since the first imprisonment. It is time to remove the last sanitary measures,” he adds.

In the south of the country, the health care sector favors a standard system according to the level of alert assigned to the epidemiological situation, explains Yves Smeets, general manager of Santhea, the professional and employers’ association of health care institutions. Maintenance of Walloon and Brussels. The current situation (increasing number of new hospitalizations according to Sainsano’s last weekly report, editor’s note), does not allow the French-speaking department to release the request of its Dutch-speaking counterpart, he notes.

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“There is no demand to abolish mask wearing in hospitals”, Mr. Smeets further observes. On the French-speaking side, the Ministry of Health urges people to maintain the wearing of mouth masks, reminding them of this obligation. According to the director, the action fades in patients.

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