Hospitals have been working on one hundred percent of their response capacity for two weeks and last night critical beds in the public sector were at 94 percent. In private companies, there are no excess resources either: intensive care areas are above 85 percent, and more than half of those places are for patients with coronavirus. For this reason, in the last seven days, the difficulties in finding a bed where to admit patients with severe symptoms and respiratory deficiencies became more acute and more than once, they ended up in the public sector despite having medical coverage. Referrals to the private sector are delayed because they depend on the social work and the contracts that each one of them has with the sanatoriums. If someone has symptoms and needs a swab, and cannot find an answer through their medical coverage, they look for it in public effectors.
Gabriela Quintanilla is in charge of Carrasco, an effector that from day one was referred for the care of patients with symptoms compatible with coronavirus. “It is getting more and more difficult,” says the doctor about the demand that absorbs the effector, from consultations in the ward to clinical evaluations that, if necessary, include studies such as plates and laboratories, swabs and hospitalizations.
Every day the hospital receives between 200 and 300 consultations per day. “We took a day as a sample to make a proportion, and we registered that 60 percent of the patients had social work. From the largest and with the largest quotas to the smallest ”, he pointed out.
The landmark of the southern part of the city, Roque Sáenz Peña, has a setting with the same characteristics, explained its director, Matías Vidal, and pointed out that “at least half of those who come to the guard for a swab have coverage medical ”. An effector that is currently performing about 180 tests daily, with peaks of 250 some days.
The reasons given by the directors coincide in many cases. “One element is that the hospital carries out a complete evaluation, including studies, which in social work is a long road that begins with the video call and has a more cumbersome process,” explains Quintanilla, and does not stop putting into play the cost of the swabs that is around 5,000 pesos and more.
In addition, the doctor pointed out that “in word of mouth” it circulates that the results of tests done in public effectors are processed more quickly than in private laboratories, and many “give that argument when they come to ask for it here,” he adds.
“He is also the one who needs a swab because his employer asks him to go to work, the social work does not cover it and he has no way to pay 5,000 pesos. Or the one who has an infected partner and the employer does not have him tested and needs it to isolate himself or to work, ”said Vidal.
The director of Sáenz Peña admitted “the complexity of the situation” and made it clear that “the effectors are for the neighbor and no one is denied assistance”, but he also clarified that “in this scenario where the volume of demand is so high, the one who has the ability to pay a social work and can resolve the situation in another way, it is necessary to try to solve it there and provide oxygen for those who they have an alternative ”.
Hospitalizations are not exempt from this situation, however, for Quintanilla, “the presence of ambulances with patients waiting for beds is repeated more and more, and sometimes even though they are members of social works, it is preferable to admit them than to spend five hours at the door ”.
The doctor pointed out that “there are fewer beds for isolated Covid in sanatoriums and it is true that there, each social work has different contracts and the possibility of having or not having a place depends on that.”
Something similar happens with Pami’s patients, a situation that the provincial Ministry of Health had also marked, especially in the cases of affiliates who are not treated in polyclinics.
At the Eva Perón Hospital, its director, Jorge Kilstein, pointed out the same scenario: patients who are admitted and referrals to sanatoriums that are delayed. “We respond and we leave them without attention, but we try to make the referrals materialize,” he said.
The Secretary General of the Rosario Medical Association, Dardo Dorato, considered that “the fact that there is a telephone exchange set up by the State to serve the entire population can make patients with social work approach the public provider”, but even He pointed out that “there are small social works that, faced with the demand, cannot cope and directly refer the public.”
However, he pointed out that “this changes from day to day depending on the epidemiological context, demand and needs.”