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Omicron exposes inflexibility of Europe’s public hospitals

By LORI HINNANT
Associated Press

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The omicron variant of the pandemic is exposing the vulnerabilities of European public health systems. Hospitals in France and Britain are again struggling to staff intensive care units and treat patients as their own employees get infected. Experts say the problem is that few health systems built up enough flexibility to handle a crisis like COVID-19. Repeated infection spikes have kept the rest too preoccupied to implement changes. This has led for calls to rethink how public health is delivered in many countries. A World Health Organization official has warned of a “closing window of opportunity” to prevent hospitals elsewhere in Europe from getting swamped. 

The Associated Press

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