Covid-19: Situation “absolutely unsustainable” in healthcare – Public Health Doctors

Lisbon, January 17, 2021 (Lusa) – The president of the National Association of Public Health Doctors, Ricardo Mexia, considered this Saturday “absolutely unsustainable” the situation currently experienced in Portugal in the provision of health care in the context of the pandemic of the covid-19 .

“What is happening in the provision of care is absolutely unsustainable, it is a dramatic situation. I think that is the possible description “, said the doctor in statements to the Lusa agency..

On the day that Portugal registered two new daily records related to the covid-19 pandemic – 166 deaths and 10,947 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus, in 24 hours – some hospitals warned that they were breaking.

The Garcia de Orta Hospital (HGO), in Almada, today had a total of 169 patients with covid-19, of whom 18 were in intensive care, with the hospital unit admitting a “pre-catastrophe scenario”, if the situation remains.

The director of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte (CHULN), Daniel Ferro, said that the Santa Maria hospital is “under strain” and that adapting to the peak of care “has limits”, working beyond the installed capacity.

For the president of the National Association of Public Health Doctors, “it is not surprising that there is de facto pressure”.

“What happens is that we are reaching an unsustainable level and that has a lot to do with what has been happening,” he said.

Although the country is at the beginning of a new confinement, “the reality is that in practice, looking at the street and seeing what is going on, there is indeed a great mobilization of people on the street, etc.” and “it ends up being difficult to fight the pandemic with this situation”, he considered.

“I hope that despite that there may be a reduction [in numbers], but it will take time for this to happen, as we know that these infections that are emerging now are infections that happened maybe a week ago,” he said. .

For Ricardo Mexia, this “huge pressure on health services” “has to do with that volume of new cases that occurred at the beginning of the year” and this pressure will continue for a few days.

“I fear that mortality will worsen even more,” he also said.

The doctor warns that “everyone warned that it was important not to create a feeling here that everything was resolved, and therefore, people ended up having a lot more contacts at Christmas and New Year’s Eve”.

In addition, “it was important to have reinforced the means in time for when they needed to be able to work, so it was important to have planned this response”.

“And now, here we are running after the loss, only that it is a high loss and very difficult to contain it, it is an avoidable situation and now we will have to quickly push these numbers down”, he considered.

The doctor considers that “even more than the restrictive questions, which may have their role, the reinforcement of the means, the improvement in communication and the clarity with which things are said, this can certainly improve”.

“It should have improved before, but we still have time to correct it, so that we can be more assertive and clearer, to try to push this situation downwards, in order to achieve greater sustainability in what is our answer. , but in fact it will be difficult weeks, ”he said.

In Portugal, 8,543 people died from 528,469 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.


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