3. Providing health services effectively
The section on PROVIDING HEALTH SERVICES EFFECTIVELY describes approaches for service delivery planning and patient pathways for suspected COVID-19 cases. It also considers efforts by countries to maintain other essential services during periods of excessive demand for health services.
3.1 Planning services
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has estimated that hospital districts will have to reallocate a significant proportion of their resources to the treatment of patients infected with the coronavirus. Some hospital districts have already announced that they have decreased the capacity of non-acute care (e.g. deferrals of elective surgeries) to increase the capacity for the treatment of COVID19-patients.
The Helsinki-Uusimaa hospital district has announced that it is ready to establish a special pandemic hospital if needed. It has reallocated services so that most corona patients are treated in the previous Surgical hospital. Some municipalities plan to use school and old nursing home premises to treat patients. Large cities such as Helsinki and Tampere and others have established a special coronavirus health clinic in which they only treat patients with respiratory symptoms. Some smaller cities have set separate consultation times in the health centres for suspected COVID-19 patients and other patients if it is not feasible or yet needed to arrange separate facilities.
Video and telephone consultations have increased in several service providers in the public and private sector. The Helsinki-Uusimaa hospital district has announced that it will start digital consultations (via either the phone or computer) for all appointments that can be handled remotely.(1)
1. HUS (27/03/2020) https://www.hus.fi/hus-tietoa/uutishuone/Sivut/HUS-siirtyy-et%C3%A4vastaanottojen-k%C3%A4ytt%C3%B6%C3%B6n---HUS-%C3%B6verg%C3%A5r-till-distansmottagningar.aspx