Tatarstan doctors waiting for resumption of planned medical care 'perhaps more than patients'

Tatarstan hospitals are preparing to open for planned hospitalisations

Tatarstan doctors waiting for resumption of planned medical care 'perhaps more than patients'

With the introduction of restrictive measures due to coronavirus, Tatarstan hospitals have stopped making scheduled appointments, except for a very limited number whose problems can't wait. On May 19, polyclinics were opened, however, with restrictions and not for everyone. And the remaining “behind the brackets” patients are waiting and worry — whether the help will be relegated to second place. Realya Vremya learned firsthand when they will have a chance to be in a bed and how planned care will be organized in hospitals of the republic.

“A planned case can turn into an emergency at any time”

Since April, hospitals in the republic have suspended receiving scheduled patients to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection and to repurpose some of the beds for receiving infected COVID-19. However, diseases do not go away themselves, and planned operations for endoprosthesis, bypass surgery, stent placement, planned hospitalization of chronic patients, inpatient examinations were postponed. Will there be a threat of overcrowding in hospitals when those who did not get treatment in April, May will come en masse and if the “anti-Covid” regime continues also in June?

“No, and first of all, because we did not completely stop receiving planned patients," Tatarstan Healthcare Minister Marat Sadykov refuted these doubts in a telephone conversation with Realnoe Vremya. “And we are talking not only about maternity care and cancer care, which were provided in full, but also about those planned cases that could turn into emergencies at any time.”

The ministry did not provide information on the number of suspended scheduled hospitalisations and idle inpatient beds in connection with this, however, they clarified that under the treatment of coronavirus patients in the pandemic, 2,577 inpatient beds in 26 health care organizations have been repurposed in the republic, and 5,760 workers of medical organisations are engaged in the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Besides, they clarified, free beds were not idle but were used to separate patients who entered the clinic — in these wards, patients spent the first three days while they were tested for coronavirus.

Waiting for new technologies and preparing for quarantine

First Deputy Minister Almir Abashev told in detail about how doctors plan to go out to receive planned patients in hospitals.

“We are in the waiting mode for the resumption of planned care and we are waiting for this almost more than the patients themselves. Hospital doctors are working today, and those who have not been connected to work with coronavirus patients are helping in outpatient care for the population at home. All dispensary patients who are in need of medical supervision get it in polyclinics. As for those medical technologies in which you can't do without a stationary stage, there is certainly a problem. There are two problems in the balance — timely provision of planned care and exclusion of COVID infection, which is especially dangerous for elderly patients.

The deputy minister explained that the most important task when resuming planned care will be to eliminate the risk of bringing coronavirus infection to hospitals by patients who have it in an asymptomatic form. He also reminded that in some Russian regions, outbreaks appeared in medical institutions in this way. In our republic, he noted, this has not happened yet, fortunately. Medical workers were infected with COVID, but all cases are isolated, and they are of contact, household origin.

Therefore, the ministry of healthcare is not ready to call the opening date of planned reception of patients:

“We are waiting for either the appearance of new specific drugs, or a vaccine that is being developed at a rapid pace — this will radically change the situation.

However, if patients waiting for planned hospitalization require urgent care, we can open hospitals for them by taking special measures — for example, to provide for their placement for a reasonable time in quarantine in a medical facility, and then, after making sure that there is no infection, transfer them to specialized departments.

“We do not exclude this possibility, despite the fact that such measures will extend the length of stay of patients on the bed and reduce the productivity of hospitals," said the deputy minister.

Rospotrebnadzor allowed to resume reception in Tatarstan clinics. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

Put on your masks and go to the reception!

Rospotrebnadzor has allowed to resume reception in Tatarstan clinics. From May 19, 2020, scheduled outpatient medical care in dentistry, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, obstetrics and gynecology, therapeutic cosmetology, medical massage, as well as scheduled preventive medical examinations of employees of harmful and dangerous industries will be resumed.

Also, since yesterday, routine immunization of the adult population has been resumed, as well as medical examinations of children, which are mandatory for admission to educational organizations.

At the same time, precautions are provided against the spread of coronavirus infection: medical examinations will be conducted on the principle of “one window”, patients are allowed to receive only by appointment and strictly in the allotted time. Before the appointment, everyone will be measured temperature, queues in the corridors are strictly prescribed to exclude, providing a standard one-and-a-half-meter distance between patients. Clinic staff and adult visitors are required to wear masks or respirators, and strict compliance with the disinfection regime is established in the premises.

By Inna Serova
Analytics Tatarstan