Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Hanoi should apply a model of medical mentorship in treating COVID-19, taking advantage of human resources and infrastructure of different treatment layers to reduce the number of serious cases and fatalities in the capital.
That is according to Dr Nguyen Trung Cap, Deputy Director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, a leading hospital in COVID treatment in the country.
In recent days, the capital city has reported an average of ten fatalities per day.
Hanoi is applying a three-layer COVID assessment level for treatment; asymptomatic, patients with light symptoms and severe cases.
About 93 percent of COVID-19 patients in Hanoi are asymptomatic or have light symptoms. Among those, more than 50,000 patients are being treated at home. Others are being treated at city/district-level healthcare centres.
The rising number of infections in the city has however resulted in more serious cases.
Dr Hoang Bui Hai, Deputy Director of the COVID-19 Treatment Hospital (Hanoi Medical University Hospital), said 40 to 50 percent of serious cases being treated with breathing machines face a high risk of fatality.
According to the health ministry, since April 29 when the fourth pandemic wave started, the city has confirmed 324 deaths, accounting for 0.4 percent of infection cases.
Dr Cap said the treatment layer at the highest level of Hanoi has high-quality doctors and equipment, but a limited number of beds. The lower levels have a high number of staff and beds, but less skilful doctors and equipment.
The city needs to make best use of medical staff at the lower treatment layer and take advantage of experienced doctors and equipment at the high level, he told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
From two years of experience in various areas across Vietnam, Dr Cap said, "The model of medical mentorship which has been applied successfully in other localities will help Hanoi."
He took Chi Linh City General Hospital in northern Hai Duong province as an example. Not all of the hospital's staff had been trained in COVID-19 treatment when the pandemic broke out in Chi Linh in early 2021.
Thanks to the mentorship of doctors from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases via online consultations, after one week, local doctors in Hai Duong could perform their tasks well.
The mentorship model was also applied in northern Bac Ninh province in May and June 2021.
At first, all patients needed to be examined online by doctors from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.
Two weeks later, some heads of departments of Bac Ninh province Hospital learned skills and techniques to be able to conduct consultations in most COVID-19 cases in the province. Doctors from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases only participated in consulting a few complicated cases.
Dr Cap said, "It means doctors at the higher-level treatment layer can offer consultations from a distance for patients at the lower level. The lower level layer can take advantage of healthcare staff, even those from other medical fields and medical students, to participate in the treatment process with supervision from doctors at the higher level."
The mentorship model needs the instruction of highly-skilled doctors. Each doctor from national hospitals will be in charge of assisting one area. Each doctor from the highest level will be responsible for instructing one doctor of the second layer. The doctor of the second layer will assist a clinic to monitor positive cases in the community, Cap said.
If the lower level is unable to receive patients, the higher level must receive, supervise and offer treatment from a distance, he said.
He emphasised that the model needs strict supervision; everyone must follow the instructions of doctors at the highest level.
Doctors at the provincial level should instruct doctors at the district level. Doctors at the district level must instruct commune-level medical staff, creating an expanded network and not leaving any patients behind.
"The system will be smoothly operated even when the number of infection cases increases sharply," he said.
The COVID-19 mentorship model is being applied at five hospitals in Hanoi – Duc Giang General Hospital, Thanh Nhan Hospital, Saint Paul General Hospital, Dong Da General Hospital and Ha Dong General Hospital./.
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