The ambulance bay outside Meilahti Hospital last week (Image: Lehtikuva)

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THE HELSINKI AND UUSIMAA HOSPITAL DISTRICT (HUS) has begun to report growing backlogs and delays to healthcare provision as the result of the ongoing heatwave, which has caused a considerable uptick in hospital admissions.

In a press release this afternoon, HUS said that there is now "a considerable queue" for both primary and specialist care throughout the district, due largely to the prolonged heat. The district also advised residents of the capital region to exercise caution and to take necessary steps to stay hydrated and keep homes cool in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. The press release also stresses that individuals should only reach out to healthcare providers in the event of an emergency and to "prepare for long queues" either way. 

Although the health toll from the current heatwave is not yet clear, evidence from past heatwaves does not inspire optimism. During the record-breaking heatwave of the summer of 2018, the mortality rate for older Finns increased significantly, with hundreds of excess deaths throughout the summer. 

 

 

Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva

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