“It feels like you’ve gone back a year.” The continued growth of Covid-19 positive cases still puts the health system to the test.
In this fourth wave driven by the Omicron variant, great responsibility has once again shifted to family doctors and pharmacies.
“The phone rings all the time – says Dr. Vincent Thierry Atangana Abena, general practitioner for some months to replace a colleague in a clinic in the center of Parma -. Every day there are positive patients to be taken care of, but by calling the ‘Ausl it is increasingly difficult to get answers because the system has gone haywire due to too many cases. We are forced to authorize people to take the swab themselves at home, with all the risks of not being able to do it correctly. It is a delicate situation. and you can’t just rely on people’s common sense “.
“The number of positive people is growing and the situation becomes more and more unmanageable – agrees the colleague of another practice located in the center of Parma -. The Ausl is unable to follow all the cases and contacts the patients very late. All the work , therefore, it falls on the general practitioner and people are frightened. There are many patients who call every day to find out why they have not yet been contacted to perform the molecular swab “.
However, she adds, “with the latest provisions established regarding swabs and quarantine days, I believe that the situation will improve and it will be easier to manage”, concludes the doctor.
Covid, the positive rapid test will be enough to determine the infection
“We could have prepared better. The experts had warned – resumes Atangana -. There is no company that does not have positive employees, there are no schools that do not have quarantined classes. More safety devices should have been made available to people, even for free, and have more restrictions before the Christmas holidays. And family doctors could have been better prepared, giving them adequate tools for tracking virus positives. Working in this situation prevents us from doing our job well. profession”.
After two years of the pandemic there is still “a lot of confusion and people are more and more tired and disheartened. It is incredible how even today there are moments of lack of masks or tampons. Where the unvaccinated have been placed in lockdown, for example, the infections have dropped drastically. In Italy we are still here, as last January, talking about the reopening or not of schools “.
“The situation entails a very demanding extra work for us doctors. These days I am busy even more than 14 hours a day because outside the visiting hours I have to take care of everything that is ordinary, for example writing the prescriptions. it is a matter of a few weeks, the situation is manageable but in the long run our health also affects us at this pace “
And the known shortage of basic doctors can only increase the burnout risk of family doctors due to too much stress. The super work, in the structures that share spaces, for example in the health houses, also concerns the secretariats. The advice is to avoid accessing the clinic for futile things.
And for the doctors who have joined the vaccination campaign, there is also the responsibility of administering the vaccine. “At the moment, however, I have decided that I will not ask for the third doses – concludes the doctor – because I would not have the time to administer them”.
Thus, “while everyone is looking at the hospitals and the occupancy rates of the ICUs and the places in the ordinary wards, the territory, which is the heart of health care, is in danger of skipping. Our studies are like ICUs in the course of first wave “, writes the Italian Federation of General Practitioners (Fimmg).