‘There are fewer possibilities of treating ordinary diseases, but they aren’t gone’

General check-ups were cancelled, but people who had coronavirus can do a more thorough one

The coronavirus pandemic reminded us about the importance of staying healthy. A round-table talk was held in Bashkiria dedicated to the organisation of regular check-ups and preventive screenings in citizens. Due to the bigger workload on the health care system, general check-ups were suspended in the region. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report when it will resume and who can do a more detailed check-up.

General check-ups suspended due to the growing incidence of acute viral respiratory infections and flu

Screening problems haven’t been discussed in Bashkiria for the first time. Earlier, the republic’s Governor Rady Khabirov stressed that screening shouldn’t be formal because it is one of the important instruments in fighting the death toll.

Chairman of the Bashkortostan State Council’s Committee for Health Care, Social Policy and Veteran Affairs Salavat Kharrasov drew attention to the fact that a well-oiled screening system can significantly reduce the number of severe patients in the future:

“Screening allows detecting diseases that can lead to serious, incurable consequences at an early stage. Therefore it unloads the health care system so that fewer severe patients are admitted in health care establishments then. Moreover, today a lot of hospitals are designed to combat COVID-19, and there are fewer possibilities of treating ordinary diseases, but they aren’t gone.”

581,666 have been examined in 2021, 55,044 of them were diagnosed with certain diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are the most widespread problem among them.

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Rector of Bashkir State Medical University, deputy of the Bashkortostan State Council Valentin Pavlov reminded the audience that since 1 July 2021 people who had coronavirus had had a chance of doing a more thorough check-up:

“According to the Ministry of Health Care of the Republic of Bashkortostan, more than 250,000 people are subject to detailed examination. A big and responsible job is ahead.”

Due to the increased workload on the health care system because of the growing incidence of acute viral respiratory infections and flu, general check-ups in Bashkiria have been suspended since 24 September. Vice Minister of Health Care of the republic Yevgeny Kustov said that we are in early days to talk about the accurate date of its resumption:

“We cannot name the exact dates. Everything will depend on the epidemiological situation. We see in the fluctuating incidence we have reached the plateau. We expect the incidence to reduce, so that that part of doctors who are not employed to provide first aid to patients with the coronavirus infection can be used in check-ups. I cannot name specific dates.”

Focus on people who recovered from coronavirus

Vice Minister of Health Care of the republic Yevgeny Kustov noted that people who had COVID-19 should be examined in a special way, which includes several stages:

“The first stage includes the following tests: oxygen saturation at rest, a test with 6-minute walking, spirometry, complete blood count, biochemical blood test, D dimer test in people who have a moderately severe or severe case and an X-ray. Then a person is referred to a GP, the doctor evaluates his state according to the test results. If needed, the doctor can refer the patient to the second stage, which includes an ECG, lung CT, duplex scanning of legs,” said the vice minister.

Kustov noted that besides the early diagnostic of diseases, the goal of the screening is to increase the health awareness in the population. According to the vice minister, one of the main problems is to interest a certain people in coming to the polyclinic and checking their health. Health workers at times have to persuade even those who had a severe case of the disease to do a check-up. A staff shortage is another problem.

“It is necessary to shift the responsibility for doing check-ups in the working population from health workers to employers. We also offer to hold citizens themselves accountable. We have a federal law that reads that a person is responsible for his or her health. For example, according to the experience in a number of countries, a fee for treatment can be introduced if a person who didn’t do a check-up on time and fall ill then. Also, we would like to reduce the amount of medical documentation,” Yevgeny Kustov said.

Key problems in Bashkortostan’s districts

The quality of check-ups in Ufa and districts can seriously vary. The insufficient number of qualified staff in polyclinics is another trouble. Chief visiting specialist in the Sterlitamak medical district Boris Sharipov noted that they don’t yet manage to solve the problem:

“Our picture isn’t so glittering. We don’t have enough both paediatricians and subspecialists a hundred per cent. Unfortunately, our two ultrasound physicians were on sick leave, due to the new coronavirus infection and the recovery period. We contacted commercial organisations to invite employees to do some tests. But nobody accepted those prices we can offer.”

According to doctors, the shortage of doctors affects the general screening statistics. There is a deficit because students who studied in sponsored programmes refuse to work in districts.

“There is a new trend among the students who study in sponsored programmes when they worked in Ufa COVID-19 hospitals in summer-autumn, collect money, pay the fine and calmly terminate agreements. We have been waiting for these people for six years. Unfortunately, there is such a problem,” said Chief Doctor of the Birsk Central Regional Hospital, deputy of the Bashkortostan State Council Salavat Rakhmatullin.”

The doctor says the deficit of specialists in regional centres can soon lead to a bigger coronavirus incidence and deaths.

“The chief doctor in a regional centre with 60-70% staff is trying to solve the problem of both vaccination and COVID-19 and to organise first aid. Of course, he has to redistribute forces. This is easier to do in a city, it is also tough but possible. When staff is redistributed in a regional centre, the workload is colossal,” the deputy stressed.

It is noted that besides the screening, other measures aimed to examine the population are taken in the republic too. So Healthy Republic — Healthy Region campaign was held in Bashkiria. Its goal was to cover remote rural territories where health care isn’t as good as in big cities. People got a chance of doing a free and quick HIV test, do a chest X-ray, mammography, have their heart checked, do a blood test and get a therapist and subspecialists’ consultation. The citizens who have questions about the screening can call at the hotline 8(347) 216-10-81.

Emil Ziyangirov. Photo: gsrb.ru

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