To Anapa — for free: Tatarstan citizens after coronavirus recover on the Black Sea

Whether businesses help its employees to restore their health after COVID-19

Shortness of breath even with minimal exertion, constant fatigue, drowsiness — this condition is familiar to most of those who have suffered Covid-19. Even if the patient has undergone a medical course of treatment, and the new PCR test is negative, this does not mean that the person has fully restored his health. Realnoe Vremya found out what is dangerous about the post-Covid-19 syndrome and also interviewed companies in Tatarstan: whether they help their employees recover from COVID-19, and if so, how exactly.

“At first, we doubted...”

This is how Gulnara Karimova, an employee of Kazanorgsintez, described her feelings and distrust of colleagues when they were offered to go to Anapa for free. The woman was ill all throughout October. The insidious coronavirus hit the lungs, and the whole body.

“This disease has shown itself. There are consequences from it. There were health impairments," she shared her impressions with the journalist of Realnoe Vremya. Increased fatigue, mood swings, shortness of breath — the same set of ailments that is well known, if not to everyone, then to many of those who have become closely acquainted with COVID-19.

In the Kazanorgsintez's day hospital, it is possible to receive a set of necessary physiotherapy procedures to recover from the new coronavirus infection. But even such help is sometimes not enough. Here the opportunities of the corporate wellness centre, which SIBUR has on the Black Sea coast, in Anapa, and now has become available to employees of enterprises in Tatarstan, come in handy. During the pandemic, the centre has switched to the rehabilitation of patients who had suffered COVID-19, quotas have also been allocated for Kazanorgsintez. Be the first to breathe the salty sea air and improve their health from Kazanorgsintez were 50 people — employees of the enterprise and their family members. Including Gulnara Karimova with her daughter Alisa. The rehabilitation course was paid for by additional medical insurance, the company took care of the travel expenses.

“There were a lot of doubts among people: how so — going to Anapa for free, to SIBUR-Yug for 2 weeks together with the family — husband, wife, children. Someone did not believe it, someone could not go for one reason or another," Karimova said.

But those who decided to — did not regret it. In the wellness centre, where, in addition to employees of Kazanorgsintez and Nizhnekamskneftekhim, specialists from almost all SIBUR productions got rehabilitated on the same conditions, rehabilitation programmes were chosen for each individually.

“You have a psychological rest there, and moral, and from the point of view that the treatment there is good. We were assigned physical therapy, breathing exercises, mechanotherapy in the gym, cardio exercises, in the pool. We were taught Nordic Walking. There were a lot of useful things. We went in December, but we were very lucky with the weather. The air temperature was up to +17˚C. Even a walk along the seashore, the opportunity to breathe the sea air is already a big plus," Karimova said.

Now the following groups of employees of the enterprise in need of rehabilitation are preparing to be sent to SIBUR-Yug.

Sanatoriums and additional weekends

Large companies that have their own sanatoriums, like SIBUR, also switch them to anti-Covid-19 mode.

“In 2022, three more participants joined the rehabilitation programme for those who had a coronavirus infection under the CHI. Two sanatorium-resort institutions belonging to Tatneft PJSC, and one to the oil and gas production Department of Prikamneft," said the chief epidemiologist of Tatarstan, Rezeda Bodrova.

TANECO reports that “rehabilitation is being carried out in all sanatoriums of Tatneft Group, where the corresponding programme has been developed”.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim, as well Kazanorgsintez, is included in SIBUR's employee rehabilitation programme. Sixty-five employees have already improved their health on the Black Sea coast. Besides, Nizhnekamskneftekhim has the additional programme: outpatient care is provided on the basis of the polyclinic of the enterprise and groups of employees are formed to undergo rehabilitation in the departmental health resort — Korabelnaya Roscha. For those who have suffered COVID-19, a special recovery programme has been developed there in addition to the seven therapeutic and preventive ones that are already in effect. The work is also underway to create a model of comprehensive medical care for Nizhnekamskneftekhim employees and their family members, similar to the one implemented in SIBUR as a whole. Two health centres on the territory of the enterprise have already been transferred to the round-the-clock mode of operation.

Sberbank responded to the request of Realnoe Vremya that “all employees of Sber group of companies are included in the VMI programme, which includes a very wide range of services”. The operational headquarters of anticov has been established in the bank. The visiting “doctor of the office” is in touch 24/7 and is ready to advise colleagues on any questions that arise at any time.

A significant part of the large companies surveyed in Tatarstan reported that they also have their own rehabilitation programmes for employees after suffering COVID-19, but they did not consider it necessary to share details. Certainly, not every business can afford large-scale support even for its employees. Most managers of small firms admitted that they often have to limit themselves to additional days off or a shorter working day during the recovery period for employees who have returned from sick leave after the coronavirus. But even this works for the good, because often the post-Covid-19 syndrome turns out to be almost worse than the disease itself.

Post-Covid-19 syndrome

“The patients who have suffered COVID-19 have complaints of cognitive and psychoemotional disorders, pain and inflammatory processes in the joints, increased fatigue, digestive disorders, etc. The post-Сovid-19 syndrome is a complex of manifestations that affect the state of human internal organs — lungs, heart, liver, since during the disease the virus affects the vessels," Rezeda Bodrova, the chief visiting specialist in medical rehabilitation of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Tatarstan, FOMS expert, expert of Roszdravnadzor, told the journalist of Realnoe Vremya. She clarified that this is not a complete list of symptoms. New strains replenish the list of post-Covid-19 complications with new manifestations.

The fact that the patient was discharged from the hospital, according to the expert, does not really mean that he completely defeated the infection. It is possible to say that the threat has passed only if 3 months after the closure of the sick list the symptoms of post-Covid-19 have not manifested. The doctor recommends paying special attention to their health to those who already had serious health problems before the coronavirus disease, and those who ignored vaccination. Among such patients, post-Сovid-19 syndrome manifests itself by 20-25% more often.

If after a few weeks your health has not fully recovered— this is an excuse to consult a doctor. In difficult cases, inpatient rehabilitation will be prescribed — in the specialised department of Kazan Hospital No. 7, in the sanatorium Nekhama or the Kazan Hospital for war veterans. More than 1,000 patients have already received a coronavirus recovery course there. Starting from 2022, there will be more institutions ready to provide inpatient rehabilitation services after coronavirus in Tatarstan.

Outpatient rehabilitation, indicated for milder cases of post-Сovid-19 syndrome, has so far been deployed in Tatarstan on the basis of 15 institutions in large settlements. In 2022, thanks to the federal Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, the republic will have more opportunities. On January 27, the Russian government allocated 7,3 billion rubles to support polyclinics operating under the compulsory health insurance system in the regions. To Tatarstan — 160 million.

“An average tariff has been established so that patients in licensed institutions can receive services including physiotherapy, physical therapy, massage, etc. The medical institutions where, for example, there was no medical psychologist on a full-time basis, will have the opportunity to conclude such a contract. Currently, the “Model of medical care” is being developed in the profile of “medical rehabilitation” for the adult population in outpatient settings — rehabilitation technologies and a set of comprehensive services, depending on the indications and contraindications for each patient," Rezeda Bodrova shared the news.

Arseny Favstritsky

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