“Collapse”: this is how primary care is seen from within the community

The word “collapse” is what “defines right now” Primary Care, a first step in Healthcare where professionals view with “concern” and a “very high level of stress and moral damage” how diagnoses of serious diseases that cannot be delayed are delayed. All this in the face of the second wave of the coronavirus.

This is what the EFE Agency warned in an interview President of the Valencian Society of Family and Community Medicine (Sovamfic), Maria Angeles Medinawho warns: with the “overload“of work imposed on them by the coronavirus pandemic are “losing time to do things that should not be delayed.

De-escalation should have been slower

In his opinion, when the state of alarm ended, during which the population made a great effort that managed to “bend the curve” of contagion, there was a “.false sense of normalcy“and “hasty decisions” were made, and he feels that de-escalation should have been undertaken “more slowly”.

Mari Ángeles Medina, President of the Valencian Society of Family and Community Medicine,
Mari Ángeles Medina, President of the Valencian Society of Family and Community Medicine, / Efe

“It was very radicalEverybody out, the economy needs to be revived! The reactivation of the economy took precedence over health care”, assures the also spokesperson of the Forum of Primary Care Physicians of the Region of Valencia.

The shoots are disrupting everything

He confesses that the doctors thought that the second wave of the covid-19 was going to start in the autumn, but in month of JulyWhen Primary Care was thinking of recovering the consultations lost during confinement, “the outbreaks began”.

“We thought we’d use the summer to get back on track and start in the autumn with those late homework assignments, and we haven’t had the time or the ability to get back on track because so many shoots have come up so quickly, so many of them without the necessary reinforcements or equipment after separating one task from another,” he says.

The recipe for flattening the curve

To flatten the infection curve again, he advises “reducing mobility” and explains that family doctors cannot “contain people with ten-day PCR response times”.

“Although we call them to stay home and not circulate,” she says, “we don’t call them every day, but we keep them on the streets, when they have to isolate themselves until we know the result.

According to María Ángeles Medina, “we haven’t caught up, we’ve been caught by the bull”, and she explains that the primary care doctors act as trackers because the provision has been “very scarce and insufficient”.

Diagnosis of the current situation

“The word that defines Primary Care right now is collapseThe problem is that there is a high level of concern, stress and moral damage in all the health care providers, because of the delay in diagnosis,” he says.

According to Medina, “there are beginning to be studies of how far behind we are in, say, diagnosing cancerIt’s not the same to detect a one-centimetre tumour as a five-centimetre one, when it has already invaded and the prognosis is very, very poor.

In his view, “we are wasting time to do very important things, things that cannot be delayed,” adding that neither time nor resources “are infinite. «We got as far as we did and we do what we can with maximum compliance, but we can’t see 80 patients in one day,” he says.

According to Medina, “everything is born from the overload that covid-19 has imposed on us” and the issue is aggravated because by not having trackers in all departments or health centers, people who only do that work, “we have to do it ourselves” and “it takes you 50% of the working day and everything else you have to condense into the other 50%”.

The doctors, jugglers

“Tasks have been added to us without taking away any and we’re getting off work at five or six in the afternoon at zero cost for our professional ethics”, criticizes the president of SoVamfic, for whom “we can no longer appeal to professional ethics, because it is not punctual”.

He considers Primary Care doctors to be “jugglers” because they try to keep many balls in the air without any falling out: palliatives, management of chronic conditions, home care, diagnosis of watery ailments or covid-19.

“We are not machines. When it’s day after day and you look up and in the future you don’t see an improvement, but rather a worsening compared to autumn, you don’t get any strength out of it,” explains Medina, who calls for overtime pay so that there are colleagues who voluntarily do it to follow the evolution of the pandemic.

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