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
In order to protect patients and medical practitioners from possible COVID-19 infection, health care services have been be partially restricted in public and private health facilities until the end of the emergency situation. Day care, short-term surgery services and ambulatory services are suspended in public and private medical facilities. Additional restrictions are applied for childbirth: the partner/accompanying person is not allowed to be present during childbirth.
Emergency medical care, including the necessary examinations and counselling will continue to be provided. This means that the patient's access to help, for example in the case of sudden pain, is not restricted. Family doctor practices are also remaining open. Where possible, medical advice will be provided remotely.
Primary care providers have an increasing role in monitoring and counselling patients in quarantine and self-isolation and after discharge from hospitals. Designated hospital beds and yards have been made available and re-organized to deal exclusively with COVID-19 patients. Remote video and telephone consultations are provided.