The Catalan Community Ombudsman has received complaints from patients because clinics in some localities have not reopened after the state of alarm ended

The Catalan Ombudsman has opened an investigation into the difficulties of access by members of the general public to care in Primary Medical Centres following complaints received because many clinics have failed to reopen after the ending of the state of alarm.

Health centres say that they are carrying a significant burden in the management of the pandemic as this is where the suspected cases of Covid-19 are arriving, most of them of a mild nature.

However, the Ombudsman states that Primary Care also serves the general population, and especially the elderly especially, for many other complaints and pathologies other than Covid-19.

He describes as “very worrying” the situation of the elderly who, in most cases, have Primary Care needs that cannot be neglected. In this regard, the Valencian ombudsman also highlights the difficulties for this group of having to request telematic or telephone appointments, when telephones are often permanently engaged.

No medical appointment in two weeks

For all these reasons, the body is requesting that the Department of Health report on their plans or protocols for the reorganisation of care in Primary Care in the face of Covid 19 health crisis, as well as the measures adopted in health centres in relation to their hours of operation, prior entry systems, different access procedures for suspicious patients, quarantine of patients where necessary, waste management, cleaning and disinfection measures.

Likewise, the Catalan Ombudsman also requests information from Health on measures or actions in relation to the implementation, improvement, accessibility and effectiveness of outpatient technological resources, such as telematic consultations and telephone assistance. He says that at this stage, “it would be interesting to know whether the difficulties of the elderly in accessing new technological resources have been taken into account.”

The Ombudsman also asks about measures related to the protection of personnel who provide services in health centres and home care (EPIS and adequate and sufficient protection material both in the health centre and for home visits). Similarly, the Catalan Ombudsman wants to know if reinforcements will be produced and how the substitution plan is carried out during the holiday period.

Lastly, the Catalan Ombudsman asked Health about whether, now that the the state of alarm has ended, why all the Primary Care centres in the Community have not re opened and the reasons.

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