“With the explosion of covid infections that we’re seeing, people are really afraid, they go to hospital guards or clinics, where they can’t get them to take care of them because they’re saturated, and then they call the emergency services, which they do, we sometimes end up with a terrible queue up To 70 calls are waiting for the impossibility of attendance,” says one of the operators of a local company, charting a situation that puts his entire sector in check.
As happened in the middle of last year during the height of the second wave of Covid in the country, emergency medical companies are once again engulfed in crazy demand. However, unlike then, this saturation no longer responds to serious conditions and a shortage of hospital beds, but to the many patients with mild Covid symptoms who are asking, above all, for containment.
As stated last Tuesday by the Federation of Medical Emergency Rooms and Home Medicine (FEM) through a statement, calls for home health care have risen in the past two weeks by more than 200%, which is generating delays and inconveniences.
According to the entity, from December 20 so far, incoming calls to emergency, emergency and home health care companies have increased “significantly” resulting in “tension” in the system and “discomfort” among patients.
He added, “The health system has added 345,000 cases of Covid in the past two weeks, a situation that has led to an increased demand for medical consultations both at home and through telemedicine platforms. In the face of such cases, the massive increase in calls puts the primary care system at risk. and pre-hospital stress leading to delays in responding to non-urgent cases and discomfort on the part of patients,” they explained from FEM.
According to the statement, although companies in the sector are redoubling their efforts with their teams to respond to this new increase in demand as a result of the rise in cases of coronavirus, it is “important to remember that infections and isolations also affect health.” staff, resulting in significant temporary injuries to work teams and impacting care.”
Delays of up to 24 hours
“While on Sunday we usually have about 65 calls, last Sunday we got 600 calls, 90 percent of which were green tokens asking for a home visit due to mild Covid symptoms or because they needed guidance. We had up to 24 hours of delay So that we can respond to these non-urgent cases,” acknowledges Guillermo Oscos, UDEC’s medical director.
As Oskus points out, “the prevailing situation is no longer acute respiratory symptoms, as it was before, but cases of fever, nasal congestion, upper organ cough … more similar to influenza symptoms and in many cases resolved through the provision of professional information.”
Added to the explosion in demand for care is staff shortages due to Covid
It describes the same scenario in SUM. “Complicating the situation again at the height of the second wave, but the problem now is not because of serious cases but because there is a high demand for home medical visits due to symptoms of fever, sore throat, headache and cough. We receive about 200 calls a day and 60% of them are green icons “Moderate patients do not require immediate attention,” says the center’s medical director, Guillermo Rolón.
“When analyzing these calls, what is seen is that almost all of them are people who seek home care because they are showing symptoms compatible with Covid and do not know if they should clear themselves, they are in close contact with a positive case and they want something to be tested. In short, the issues that It doesn’t require home care,” says Rollon.
To meet this demand, this company, like others, had to reinforce the staff of doctors in the cabin, who assess the urgency of calls, so that it can provide this social and health containment to customers who have questions about how to deal with this or that situation related to Covid.
Since the 20th of last month, the calls for home care have grown exponentially
Added to the huge increase in the demand for home health care is the scarcity of human resources to provide solutions. “Just as people get sick or have to self-isolate due to close contact, so do paramedics, drivers and the rest of our employees affected by the pandemic. This means that sometimes some companies have up to a third of people less than usual,” says one company in the sector. .
They also revealed from the Chamber of Business about this situation. They said from FEM.
To relieve the stress of the situation, control the increase in infections and reduce hospitalizations and deaths as much as possible, the Consortium of Medical Emergency Rooms and Home Medicine has recommended that residents continue to respect the prevention measures established by health authorities and comply with the vaccination programme.
“In contexts of high demand such as the current situation, it is very important to respect the responsible use of the emergency and emergency system, using the life hazard communication lines only for this purpose and not ordering other services or making claims,” they noted from the entity.