In order for hospitals to adapt to the possible rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 patients over the next two weeks and at the same time be able to provide emergency care to other patients, the government today, 22 December, approved the proposal of Ministry of Health to stop providing scheduled inpatient services in hospitals from 23 December to 4 January.
Statistics from the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPCC) demonstrate that both the number of people with Covid-19 (by 20.78%) and the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients (by 15.8%) have increased in previous week in comparison to the week before. According to the National Health Service data. Currently, 998 patients are being treated in hospital: 948 with moderate symptoms, 50 with severe symptoms. In addition, epidemiological forecasts suggest that the workload in hospitals will continue to increase due to Covid-19 patients.
In order for hospitals to be able to provide additional resources for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, including re-profiling new beds and referring doctors for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, it was decided not to provide scheduled inpatient services in hospitals from 23 December to 4 January. Until now, medical institutions had the opportunity to decide on the extent of the restriction of services themselves, adapting to the situation; now a stricter decision has been made.
It is important to emphasize that many health services will not be interrupted. Emergency medical and acute care will continue to be provided, including necessary examinations and consultations. Oncological, life-saving surgeries, as well as surgeries the cancellation of which may result in disability, will also not be cancelled.
Also, from 23 December to 4 January, hospitals must provide the following inpatient services:
- Services to ensure continuity of therapy - chemotherapy, biological medicines, organ replacement therapy;
- Radiation therapy;
- Health care services in haematology;
- Methadone and buprenorphine replacement therapy;
- Healthcare for patients who need to continue or complete inpatient emergency treatment;
- Invasive cardiology;
- Invasive radiology.
The following services will be mandatory in hospitals:
- Acute and emergency medical care;
- Oncological, life-saving surgeries, as well as surgeries the cancellation of which may result in disability;
- Healthcare services relating to the treatment of the following groups of diseases: oncology, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, psychiatry, contagious skin diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, traumatology;
- Acute and sub-acute rehabilitation services for persons for whom the postponement of such services may lead to a risk of disablement or loss of workability, including children for whom the postponement of rehabilitation services is associated with a significant deterioration of functioning.
Outpatient health care services will also be provided in the previous amount, including specialist consultations. Hospitals are tasked to provide these services remotely as much as is possible.
Each medical institution will contact the patient individually to inform them if a service will be delayed. At the same time, these patients will not lose their place on the waiting list and will be given priority when resuming specific services. If, for example, a person, together with a family doctor, decides that a service is not needed at the moment, it is important to cancel the registration at the medical institution.
In order to receive more precise information on state-paid health care services, contact the National Health Service by phone at 80001234.
The Government today also decided that face masks must be worn by everyone from the age of 7 when on nature trails, in outdoor museum spaces, and near environmental and natural sites, if there is a large number of people there. Recently, there has been a tendency for people to actively use opportunities to visit various places of interest, resulting in crowding and difficulty in keeping distance. The owner of the specific object will have to anticipate such situations and place instructions regarding the mandatory use of face masks.