Consultations and surgeries to resume progressively

in News · 19-04-2020 08:00:00 · 0 Comments

Consultations, surgeries and other non-urgent care activities, suspended in March due to the pandemic, will be resumed progressively at the "end of next week", revealed the Minister of Health.

"We hope that by the end of next week we will be able to progressively resume normal activity" that had been suspended because of the pandemic, said Marta Temido at the daily press conference on the evolution of the covid-19 disease in Portugal.

The official added that this rescheduling presupposes "a set of fundamental logistical aspects" and that it will start with the most priority cases.

For the reopening of normal activity in health units, a set of measures will be adopted such as "reinforcement of protective equipment" for professionals, hygiene and reorganization of places such as waiting rooms.

“What we are going to do, in the next few days, is to reschedule unattended care activity [since non-urgent activities were suspended to respond to cases of covid-19]. We will give priority to cases with clinical indication for this, in an evaluation that will have to be made in conjunction with health service providers. It is more of a challenge for the National Health Service [SNS] ”, he explained.

The minister also said that the March dispatch that determined the cancellation of scheduled consultations and non-urgent surgeries "will be suspended next week", in conjunction with the Regional Health Administrations, the Health Center groups and the hospitals.

"The challenges of the SNS are far from being overcome, as are the days of intense work", he stressed.

Marta Temido revealed that “the break in the programmed assistance activity was very significant”, namely with regard to hospital consultations.

According to the minister, in March, “minus 180 thousand consultations” were scheduled in hospitals, a reduction of 5.7%.

Medical consultations in primary health care "had a reduction of 3.9%", the equivalent of about "300 thousand consultations for breaks".

At least nine thousand surgeries were performed, that is, there was a “5.3% reduction” in this area.

Urgent episodes dropped 11.5% and emergency medical services had a daily reduction corresponding to 300 calls.

"It is time to reverse this logic", he stressed, explaining that, in March, the suspension decision was due to the need to "allocate resources to the care of covid-19 patients".

The minister also stressed that "positive lessons to maintain" were learned, namely "encouraging non-classroom assistance to renew prescriptions" or "referring to screened situations such as green, blue and white for primary health care".

“We will continue to privilege telephone assistance, presence reduced to a minimum, but postponed assistance activity will be carried out in the shortest possible time”, he summarized.

Marta Temido ensured that “all care and measures are being taken so that there is no risk for non-covid patients” in the health units.

“They should not be afraid to resort to the NHS”, he guaranteed.


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