By: Chang Ming-hsuan and Kuo Chung-han
Taipei, March 13 (CNA) The number of patients on waiting lists for a bed in intensive care units at hospitals with the highest level of emergency services has shrunk to 47, four of which are flu patients, a health official said Sunday.
As of 9 a.m. Sunday, only one medical center — National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan — had more than five patients on its ICU waiting list, which indicated an improvement of the situation over the past 10 days, said Wang Tsung-hsi (王宗曦), head of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s (MHW) Department of Medical Affairs.
Over the last 10 days, there was a total of 15 centers that had more than five people on their ICU waiting lists. During that time, the ministry helped 54 patients transfer to other hospitals, he said.
The flu outbreak, which started in July last year and reached its peak last month, had led to more than 1,529 severe flu-related cases and 121 confirmed deaths in the country as of the end of last week, the most of any flu seasons over the past five years, the ministry.
In a bid to prevent overcrowding at medical centers, the ministry has published a list of 32 “flu response” hospitals that it said patients should visit first for diagnosis and treatment. [FULL STORY]