SNS24 answered around 1.5 million calls more than in 2019

in News · 09-08-2020 12:00:00 · 0 Comments

The SNS24 line answered nearly 1.5 million calls in the first seven months of the year, a number that exceeded the total made in 2019, according to the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health.

According to the “Balance of Activity of the SNS24 Line 2017 - 2020”, 864,939 calls were answered in 2017, a number that rose to 1,200,171 in the following year and 1,485,808 in 2019.

In the first seven months of the year (until 31 July), 1,494,928 calls were answered, an average of 4,095 per day, at the Contact Centre of the National Health Service, coordinated by the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS).

A source from the SPMS told Lusa that the situation of the pandemic has “increased the volume” of calls to the contact centre.

"We received in six months more than we had during the whole of the previous year," said the same source, adding that in March and April, during the "state of emergency", many of the calls made to the line were for clarifying doubts about the covid-19.

According to data provided to the Lusa agency, the triage service performed by nurses referred 30,488 users to areas dedicated to covid-19 in primary health care and 83,631 to hospital emergency services with this valence.

Most (131,823) were self-surveillance at home, according to guidelines from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), which created specific algorithms to guide patients infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes the covid-19 disease.

The data show that the screenings performed by nurses over the past three years, which involve clinical evaluations, have been increasing from year to year.

Thus, in 2017, 688,736 users were referred to various services, a number that rose to 867,180 in 2019 and to 1,051,574 in 2019.

This year, 985,781 users were referred to the Poison Information Centre (CIAV), health centres, the National Institute for Medical Emergency (INE) and emergency services, but also to be in self-care, according to SMPS data.

On 1 April, the psychological counselling service dedicated to users and health professionals started. Until 5 August, it had received 27,118 calls, of which 24,846 were users and 2,272 were health professionals.

A new access channel for deaf citizens was also made available on the SNS24 website on 21 April through a video call tool, in conjunction with the National Institute for Rehabilitation.

From 21 April to 5 August of this year, 559 calls were made by a Portuguese sign language interpreter to deaf citizens, of which 267 refer to screening.

According to the SPMS, assistance through a Portuguese sign language interpreter to deaf citizens is also available to deaf citizens who need mediation at the National Health Service (health centres and hospitals).

The SNS24 Portal, launched in January 2019, had 1,455,792 users in that year, and this year, until 5 August, 4,730,105, representing a growth of more than 900 percent in relation to the same period in the past," says SPMS, advancing that the informative content of the covid-19 scope has already undergone more than 60 updates.

The service “Evaluate Symptoms”, which allows the user to make an assessment of his symptoms or someone else's, was used by 33,499 users in 2018 and this year by 380,184.

“Adherence to this service is considered to be quite significant, since the volume of activations in the first six months of 2020 was over 1 million and 800 thousand times, with the COVID-19 algorithm registering more than 485 thousand uses”, he stresses.

As for human resources, SPMS says that the number of nurses “is dynamic”, depending on demand, having gone from less than 1,000 to about 1,400 at the peak of the pandemic.

At the moment, it has 1,006 nurses, who work in shifts of four to eight hours, and it also has available a resource grant, activated whenever necessary, by 326 more health professionals.


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