Coronavirus: the FAMHP again calls for rational use of oxygen

date: 09/11/2020

Due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased need for oxygen in Belgium for patients with respiratory problems. The FAMHP asks all actors and users not to stockpile and return unused or empty material to the supplier as soon as possible.

No unnecessary stockpiling
Equipment used in oxygen therapy must be filled by the supplier, distributed to the patient and collected, disinfected and refilled after use. Therefore, it is important that empty bottles and other used materials are made available to the suppliers as soon as possible. This way, each user can help ensure the smooth distribution. Stockpiling oxygen bottles, portable liquid oxygen containers or oxygen concentrators is unnecessary and counterproductive. An unused stock can lead to reduced availability for others. If a user has unused equipment or inventory, they must notify the supplier immediately.

Rational use
Each actor in the sector must take responsibility and make rational use of the available stock. Treatment with oxygen can only be prescribed by a doctor. New installations can only be set up or ordered if a doctor, after seeing the patient, has issued a medical prescription in the patient’s name. Doctors can only prescribe oxygen if it is a medical necessity or for palliative reasons. Pharmacists can only order oxygen if they are in possession of a medical prescription.

How can a pharmacist order oxygen?
Deliveries by oxygen suppliers will only be accepted if ordered by a (hospital) pharmacist. It should, first and foremost, be the usual pharmacist. This also applies to nursing and care homes. During the weekend, on-call pharmacies are also available, the details of which can be found at Requests without a medical prescription in the patient’s name will not be fulfilled. Nursing, care homes and patients cannot order directly from suppliers. Pharmacists are therefore responsible for contacting and providing information to patients, nursing homes and care homes.

(Hospital) pharmacists can contact oxygen suppliers in Belgium using special emergency numbers. Thanks to mutual cooperation and streamlined requests, they are working hard to help all new oxygen patients.

Pharmacists are advised to use the online ticketing system to submit an online request for oxygen. Thanks to this central online system, pharmacists no longer need to contact different suppliers.

Last updated on 11/01/2021