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Catalonia restores automatic withdrawals due to ‘covid symptomatology’ to relieve primary care

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Catalonia will restore automatic withdrawals due to “Covid symptoms” from this Wednesday to relieve the pressure on basic services. The Ministry of Health will activate a tool in the digital space of La Meva Salut to require doctors to be temporarily disabled due to a disease “compatible” with Covid and avoid in-person visits to the CAP. According to Health, the measure is based on “a criterion of trust” between patients and doctors and does not require a positive test. “The doctor must know that the patient is sick, just as this communication is personal,” defended Gemma Craywinckel, director of the Catalan Health Service, at a press conference this Wednesday. This automatic payout takes five days. The Catalan government’s measure is “temporary” until the epidemiological situation stabilizes and resources in basic services are not constrained by holidays.

The number of victims due to acute respiratory failure rose by 85% in recent weeks, according to health data, and visits related to Covid symptoms increased by 16% in a week. Faced with an epidemiological expansion and with fewer care resources due to health workers’ holidays, Health is recovering a tool it was already using in the middle of the sixth wave last January, when ómicron triggered infections and consultations collapsed.

User requests are forwarded to the Catalan Institute of Medical Evaluations (ICAM), where a doctor validates the user’s own report. “Those who declare that they have a positive test will not be discharged, but those who transmit symptoms of the disease will be,” Craywinckel said. The director compared the digital method to the face-to-face method to justify the measure: “This method is the same as a doctor asking a patient, ‘What’s wrong?’ The goal, they emphasize from Health, is to ensure that doctors working during the summer time are taking care of the patients “who need it”.

The healthcare system has been complaining for days about simplifying administrative tasks in consultation hours, precisely in order to prioritize medical issues. “We need solutions that free us from the administrative burden,” demanded Jaume Sellarès, Vice President of the Barcelona Official College of Physicians (Comb), in an act by the health authority. The reaction of the Generalitat was almost immediate. Health Minister Carmen Cabezas admitted last week that Health is studying the model for dealing with temporary disabilities and presented the final plan this Wednesday. “We’re simplifying an administrative process where we already have clinical knowledge that the patient is sharing with us,” Craywinckel noted.

Catalonia is in a period of the spread of the coronavirus, although records are beginning to send optimistic signals. “We see that the increase is maintained, although it is less than the previous week,” said Cabezas. “The data suggests that this growth is slowly decelerating, although we cannot confirm this yet. It’s a first perception.” The health minister explained that reinfections from Covid already reach 29% of infections in those under 50, compared to 12% in the elderly.

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Daily diagnoses in Catalonia exceed 5,000, leading to an increase in hospital admissions. Hospitals are registering 2,032 patients admitted with Covid, compared to 1,893 in the latest record last week, health data says. Uptrend continues: Two weeks ago data was higher than 1,500 with Covid included. In the intensive care unit, on the other hand, stability is maintained. The hospital centers register 52 critics, for the 46 of the previous balance.

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Source elpais.com

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