“There were stages. First, most people excluded themselves from sanitariums, before quarantine. Then the norm of preventive and compulsory isolation was issued. And then doctors began to advise that you only attend health centers in emergencies so as not to occupy places that others might need. ”
The racconto did it, in dialogue with this newspaper, the head of the Federation of Clinics of the province of Buenos Aires (Fecliba), Néstor Osvaldo Porras, who indicated that the establishments of the private health sector “today have approximately 80 per percent of its idle capacity. Or more”.
And the economic effect that this causes? “It will be serious. But now we cannot think about it. We are in line with the ministries (of Health of the Province and of the Nation) preparing ourselves for what may be coming, “he stressed.
This includes, first of all, “extreme care” of the personnel. “Doctors, nurses, clerks, stretcher bearers, ambulance drivers, housekeepers, everyone is on the front line of fire, starting with the person who receives the patient at the entrance. Also, it should be borne in mind that we already suffered a significant decrease in workers, because all those at risk (due to age or previous pathologies) went home, “said Porras.
Returning to external clinics, he insisted that “only emergencies are attended to,” and clarified: “In our sector there are no directives that come down from one place and everyone is obliged to comply with them. That is, it may be that a person who requires a shift for other reasons (not urgent) in one center is treated and in others not. But at a general level, dedicating only to urgent cases is what clearly prevails, “he said.
In this context, he commented that as a result of the confinement, “telephone or via WhatsApp inquiries skyrocketed.”
This reality has put the issue of medical care between the sword and the wall, since it is true that it cannot be provided properly without establishing the traditional doctor-patient relationship, but, on the other hand, fear does its own thing. “And professionals work more from our homes and do not get paid,” noted days ago from different organizations that bring them together.
Beds and supplies
Porras said that today, for each private sanatorium, there must be “on average” complete protective equipment to care for 14 or 15 patients with coronavirus.
That leads directly to the lack of inputs. “Suppliers have disappeared, and those with items sell them at impossible prices. So the Ministry of Health monopolized purchases, including respirators. In this framework, we are in permanent contact with the health authorities, who already know what supplies we need, “said the head of Fecliba.
He added that “the contact is daily, one calls and if the minister does not answer, the vice minister does. They ask us for information, we make our requests, and that is how we are working for the critical moment ”.
The information, above all, refers to the number of beds available. From the federation of clinics it was indicated that 160 of the sanatoriums located there have 1,076 intensive care beds and 691 ventilators. Meanwhile, they have 230 coronary unit beds – which will be made available to those infected by COVID-19 if necessary – with a total of 112 respirators.
To this number of beds we must add those of non-integrated institutions in Fecliba and “the common beds that, once they provide us with the necessary equipment, we will convert into therapy beds,” said Néstor Porras.
It is worth remembering that, according to the provincial direction of Hospitals, it aims to have 2,000 beds in the private health sector by the time the pandemic peak arrives, now projected for mid-May.
The head of the Buenos Aires entity emphasized: “The health system has been in trouble for many years, it is not a secret for anyone. Now a lot of work is being done to get it in shape. But there needs to be, above all, a very firm social behavior regarding self-care, which automatically translates into caring for others ”.
“The community cannot relax, in strict quarantine or without it, because we are facing a very, very aggressive virus for which there is no treatment. Isolating oneself, taking care of distances, not slowing down in terms of personal and environmental hygiene is essential, “said the professional.
Meanwhile, different organizations that bring together doctors have been insisting that the State “agreed with the clinics but did not consult us. We are supposed to be the heroes of this movie, but there are thousands who are out of work (in private practices) and unpaid. There is a lot of uncertainty. The government has to listen to us, which it has not done, ”they shot.
Intensive care beds He hopes to have in the sanatoriums and private clinics the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health when the peak of the pandemic arrives. The nucleated centers in Fecliba have 1,076 and 230 coronary units, which would be made available.