"Incredible effort" of primary health care workers acknowledged

in News · 06-07-2020 17:40:00 · 0 Comments

The Association of General and Family Medicine considers that the “incredible effort” made by family and public health doctors, who controlled more than 90 percent of covid-19 cases at home, prevented hospitals reaching their limit.

In an interview with Lusa agency, the president of the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine (APMGF) APMGF, Rui Nogueira, stated that between 90 percent and 95 percent of patients infected with the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus were monitored in primary health care by family and public health doctors.

"Only 5 percent to 7 percent of the cases were at the hospital, half of what was expected, so our hospitals had not been subjected to the extreme position of responding because we were able to control the cases upstream", said the doctor.

According to Rui Nogueira, the covid-19 pandemic continues to demand an incredible “effort” on the part of these professionals: “There are about 400 hospitalised patients, but we have 10,000 at home having to follow them, calling them daily to see the what's happening”.

It has been “an incredibly big, valuable effort” because primary care doctors have managed benign situations without the need for people to go to the hospital.

Tracing the portrait of the covid-19 pandemic in Portugal, the doctor stated that, despite being a “small country, with about 10 million inhabitants”, there are very different situations in the seven regions, arguing that “any measure must count with this reality”.

“In the four smallest regions, with around half a million inhabitants each, the situation is now resolved and we can even say that it did not even have a major expression, which corresponds to what is the reality of this pandemic that affects mainly the large population clusters”, he declared.

In the Centre and North regions, he added, the “situation is practically resolved” and then there is “another reality” in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, where the number of cases has been increasing daily.

But, stressed Rui Nogueira, “in none of these cases can we be rested because we have the doubt that there might be a second wave” and in the event that “we must not let them be worse than the first” and, for this, the country has to prepare to fight it.

“We must prepare ourselves realistically and very rigorously for an eventual second wave. First with the lessons taken from the first wave and then with urgent and rigorous measures that have to be adopted”, he defended.

And, according to the doctor, "several lessons" have already been learned from the pandemic, one of which is "the speed" with which the coronavirus spreads and its aggressiveness.

"It is highly contagious and, therefore, we have to be very strict at the beginning to avoid the rapid spread of the virus", he said, considering that, despite Portugal having prepared itself, it is one of the "countries with the most cases 'per capita'", but it has solved the cases well.

For that, the “attitude of the health services”, namely of the public health doctors”, who made “the connections of all the cases in an exquisite way” was essential.


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