Unlocking of Full Health Care Services by Mid July?

Leo Olivero
Unlocking of Full Health Care Services by Mid July?

To summarise what I’ve penned in previous columns, the good things we’ve done on the Covid journey include: reacting early; following an evidence-led strategy; allowing the experts to lead our response; introducing step-wise measures and adhering to them; invoking radical changes when these were needed; ramping up capacity to deal with a surge in cases; and pulling together as a nation.

The not so good side of things I have also covered, but this is not what this report is about today.

However, keeping to the positive line of the article. I understand that our health care system and clinical services are slowly coming out of the ‘Covid combat ready position’ and gradually unlocking clinical services towards a full return to normality.

Public Health Concerns During the Pandemic

Panorama, over recent weeks, has regularly been approached with questions and concerns relating to health issues from members of the public. These are people, who are concerned about the situation, particularly those, with ongoing health conditions who are apprehensive, even afraid, of going to the hospital or making an approach for medical help until all this is over or when services are up and running as per normal.

Even, without official data available, it is logical to presume that the number of patients on waiting lists for day case treatment has obviously increased since emergency Covid public health procedures were put in place. The same problem, with screening services, also a concern to many people. This again, evident, from some of the people who made contact with this newspaper.

Panorama also understands, that with some of the issues or areas already raised, there has been notable falls in the number of patients seeking treatment at Primary Care and at the Accident and Emergency at the hospital. A worrying situation, when you think, people are failing to reach out for medical help!

Emergency Hospital Admissions Down During Health Emergency?

It would also be accurate to report, that because of the GHA Covid posture of the last few months, emergency hospital admissions have fallen. In fact, we know it has, compared to figures before the present Covid health care stance was temporally introduced.

There, is also the possibility, that the number of people waiting for hospital care could sharply increase, which is a similar scenario to other places as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Though in my opinion, Gibraltar would be in a better position to return to full normal services and tackle any backlog of care, than in many other larger countries, mainly because of the very few infection cases recorded, thus, making getting back to normal after the pandemic, a much quicker exercise!