ORDINARY medical consultations and surgeries are set to gradually get underway again in the Balearic Islands’ hospitals and primary care centres given the decline in the number of coronavirus-related hospitalisations and active cases.
“We will restart ordinary assistance activity with maximum prudence,” Balearic health service director general Juli Fuster announced.
Fuster said the move will be with the current systems in place, that is, with differentiated assistance circuits, “and very prepared to deal with a possible upturn in Covid-19 cases, which will prevent us from recovering 100 per cent of our activity for the moment.”
The director general also explained that the intention was for the reactivation to be in phases.
In the first phase the idea is to recover “up to one third part our habitual activity, maintaining the precautionary and social distance measures,” she explained.
Once the first phase is stabilised the second phase will get underway.
The regional Health ministry said the aim was to recover activity in healthcare centres in order to try and prevent build-ups of patients in waiting rooms, especially of the most vulnerable groups, but also emphasised the priority to protect healthcare workers.
“In this first phase it will be vital to move forward slowly, but safely so that a relapse does not occur. Therefore respiratory circuits will be maintained separately from the general circuits.
“The implementation of telematic or telephone consultations will be prioritised, both for hospital and primary care,” the ministry stated.
Where surgeries are concerned, the ministry said “urgent and programmed activity which cannot be delayed will be maintained,” with the idea of recovering the programme in an order of priority. The same applies to external consultations.
Limitations on accompanying patients will remain in place, but visits are allowed “in palliative and or terminal situations,” while hospital floors for Covid-19 patients or suspected cases will remain separated from other areas.
The ministry further revealed that scheduled activity for the over-65’s, the chronically ill and mental health patients is being recovered to attend to pathologies not related to Covid-19, as is programmed pediatric activity and the vaccine calendar in primary attention, which will maintain triage consultations by phone.
Fuster made a point of thanking all the health professionals working on the frontline of the health crisis.
“You are the real heroes of this battle, which you even put before your own health,” she commented.
She also praised the islands’ citizens for sticking to the confinement, saying the result was a “certain stability” in the number of coronavirus cases.