> According to the 1st semester report on the Health Regulatory Authority's (ERS) Complaints Management System, of the 28,437 cases received, 4,109 were identified to be directly or indirectly related to the pandemic and the issue "Covid-19". The most commonly discussed subjects were billing related to personal protection equipment and hygiene in establishments (1,563), infection control measures not adopted by providers (722), access (postponement, refusal, referral) to health care (641) and asymmetry of information (598).

As for the monthly distribution of the cases received, 8,360 reached the regulator in March, 5,764 in April, 7,055 in May and 7,258 in June.

User-focused", "access to health care", and "health care and patient safety" were the topics most frequently mentioned in complaints about services provided this year.

As far as the themes are concerned, the subject "Covid-19" is associated with all the themes available for classifying the cases received by ERS, but the largest volume is in "user focus" and "financial issues".

According to the report, in the theme "focus on the user", the right to treatment by appropriate means, humanely, promptly, correctly and respectfully was the subject most addressed, with 45.9 percent of the references.

Next, according to the data revealed by the regulator, there is the "delicacy/urbanity of personnel" (34 percent) and the "right of access to the clinical file/health information" (9.5 percent).

According to the report, ERS received a total of 46,757 cases in the first half of the year, of which 41,300 related to complaints, 4,663 to compliments, 645 to suggestions and 149 to mixed classification processes.

Similarly to the options for classifying cases as "complaint", "compliment" and/or "suggestion", the system also allows more than one theme to be selected for each complaint and, within each theme, more than one specific subject.

Within the theme "financial issues", the most mentioned subject was the excessive/abusive billing, with 36.1 percent of mentions, "a subject particularly related to the collection of personal protective equipment in private and social sector establishments, and which led to the issue, by ERS, the Supervisory Alert No. 3/2020," indicates the report.

According to ERS, there has been a systematic decrease in one of the most commonly mentioned issues in the processes (waiting times), on the one hand, and, on the other, the processes concerning "financial issues" have increased, particularly in the month of May.

"This increase was directly related to the issue of "Covid-19", specifically relating to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in private and social sector establishments," the document states.